2011 Health Disparities Legislation

Life expectancy and overall health have improved in recent years for most Americans, thanks in part to a better focus on preventive medicine and advances in medical technology. While Americans as a group are healthier and living longer, disparities persist. For a number of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, good health is more difficult to attain because appropriate care is often associated with an individual's economic status, race and gender.

Policymakers are responding to these issues by introducing legislation aimed at eliminating health disparities. The bills listed below have been introduced to address the social determinants of health and are aimed at eliminating health disparities for all underserved populations. 

State

Bill/ Summary/ Status

California

  • AB 1088 Requires every state agency, board, or commission to update their data collection categories to match those used by the United States Census Bureau. Would create additional separate collection categories and tabulations for other major Asian groups and Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander groups. Enacted and Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter No. 689 

Connecticut

  • HB 5608 To establish a collaborative committee that will be charged with monitoring the implementation of, and compliance with, standards 4 to 7, inclusive, of the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Standards issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health. Joint Committee on Government Administration and Elections.  

Florida

  • HB 137 and SB 414  Authorizes the University of Florida Prostate Disease Center, in collaboration with other organizations and institutions, to establish a prostate cancer task force to replace the advisory committee. House version:  Enacted and Chaptered- Chapter No. 2011-74; Senate Version: Tabled-Failed. 
  • SB 862 Requires the Office of Minority Health to submit an annual report to the Governor and Legislature; requires consideration of minority health issues in state policy and planning; requires the DOH, the AHCA, the DOEA, the DOC, and the DJJ to take minority health issues into consideration in their annual planning. Failed. 

Georgia

  • HR 758 Urges health care professionals to complete training in cultural competency at least every two years. Pending- Carryover. 

Indiana

  • HB 1280 Requires managed care organizations contracting with the state Medicaid program to implement a culturally and linguistically appropriate services standards plan. Failed- Adjourned.

Massachusetts

  • HB 1496 Creates an eye and vision care center in the Department of Public Health to improve access to eye and vision care health care services for rural and underserved communities. In Joint Committee on Public Health: Heard, Eligible for Executive Session.
  • HB 1498 Establishes a fund to be known as the prevention and cost control trust fund. One provision would require a report to be filed with the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health that includes information related to the most prevalent preventable health conditions in the commonwealth, including health disparities experienced by populations based on race, ethnicity, gender, disability status, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status. To Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.
  • HB 1517 and SB 1091 Creates the Office of Health Equity within the Department of Health and Human Services. House version: In Joint Committee on Public Health: Heard, Eligible for Executive Session; Senate version: To Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.
  • HB 1518 and SB 1092 Creates a community-based agency disparities reduction grant program to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities among predominantly underserved populations.To Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.; Senate version: From Joint Committee on Public Health: Accompanied by Bill H 1518.
  • HB 2908 Creates a special commission for the purpose of devising a statewide strategy to modernize HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in the Commonwealth. In Joint Committee on Public Health: Heard, Eligible for Executive Session.

Maryland

  • HB 16  Establishes a task force to study the use of telemedicine in medically underserved populations and areas. Died in Committee 2/22/2011.
  • SB 406  Establishes a Task Force to Study the Use of Telemedicine in Medically Underserved Populations and Areas. Failed, Adjourned.

Maine

  • HB 103 Extends to the federally recognized Indian nation, tribe and bands in the State and to their health departments and health clinics the laws on comprehensive community health coalitions, district coordinating councils for public health, district public health units, Healthy Maine Partnerships, the universal wellness initiative and health risk assessment. Signed by Governor, Public Law No. 2011-306.

Mississippi       

  • HB 327 Any person applying for a state-issued license or state-funded public assistance must be able to demonstrate an ability to speak and understand the English language. Died in Committee.
  • HB 432 The State Health Officer shall establish a program to close the gap in the health status of all gender and racial groups. Died in Committee.
  • HB 957 Creates a Health Disparities Council within the State Department of Health. Died in Committee. 

New Jersey

  • AB 1761  Would make numerous changes in the Primary Care Physician and Dentist Loan Redemption Program, including providing for the redemption of a portion of the eligible student loan expenses of participants for each year of service in a designated underserved area or a health professional shortage area (HPSAs). Would also add requirements for program participants. Failed, Adjourned.
  • ACR 95 Would urge the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services to rescind or modify certain regulations governing federally qualified health centers in New Jersey. To Committee on Health and Senior Services.
  • SB 1251  Would establish the Disparity in Treatment of Persons with Disabilities in Underrepresented Communities Commission. Failed, Adjourned. 
  • SB 2317 and AB 3404  Establishes the New Jersey Center for Oral Health at the New Jersey Dental School of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Senate Version: Vetoed by Governor; Assembly Version: Substituted with SB 2317.

New Mexico

  • HJM 32  Encourages every agency and entity that receives state funding to adopt a policy to address institutional racism. Failed, Adjourned. 

New York

  • NY AB 453 and SB 2745  Directs the New York state department of health to conduct a study on the high incidence of asthma in the borough of the Bronx in the city of New York and to prepare a remedial plan. Assembly Version: To Committee on Health; Senate Version: To Committee on Health.
  • NY AB 456  Creates the lupus research enhancement program and the lupus research enhancement fund. To Assembly Committee on Health.
  • NY AB 458  Creates the lupus research enhancement program and the lupus research enhancement fund. To Assembly Committee on Health.
  • NY AB 1434  Would require cultural awareness and competence training for all medical professionals. To Assembly Committee on Higher Education.
  • NY AB 5761  Would require cultural awareness and competence training for all medical professionals. To Assembly Committee on Higher Education.
  • NY AB 6241 Directs the office of minority health to establish a program of data collection for the assessment of disparities in health and the delivery of health care to minorities in New York state. To Senate Committee on Rules.
  • NY AB 7003 and SB 4550 Establishes a Minority Coordinating Council on Asthmatic Affairs within the department of health to assess the asthma risk factors for the minority citizens of the state. Assembly Version: To Committee on Health; Senate Version: To Committee on Health.
  • NY AB 8278 Establishes a health care disparities data collection system. To Assembly Committee on Health.
  • NY SB 118  Would require cultural awareness and competence training for all medical professionals. To Senate Committee on Health.
  • NY SB 701  Creates the lupus research enhancement program and the lupus research enhancement fund. To Senate Committee on Health.
  • NY SB 1108  Creates the lupus research enhancement program and the lupus research enhancement fund. To Senate Committee on Finance.
  • NY SB 1142  Would establish an interagency task force on health literacy within the state university of New York. To Senate Committee on Higher Education.
  • NY SB 1650  Would require cultural awareness and competence training for all medical professionals. To Senate Committee on Higher Education.
  • NY SB 4077  Directs the office of minority health to establish a program of data collection for the assessment of disparities in health and the delivery of health care to minorities in New York state. To Senate Committee on Health.

Ohio

  • SB 60 Requires certain health care professionals to complete instruction in cultural competency. To Committee on Health, Human Services and Aging.

Oregon

  • SB 97 Directs certain health professional regulatory boards to adopt rules by January 1, 2014, requiring licensees to document participation in continuing education opportunities relating to cultural competency approved by Oregon Health Authority. Failed to Pass House.

Rhode Island

  • HB 5633 Creates the Commission for Health Advocacy and Equity. Signed by Governor, Public Law No. 2011-155.
  • SB 481 Creates the Commission for Health Advocacy and Equity. Signed by Governor, Public Law No. 2011-172.

Texas

  • HB 945 and SB 501 Would create the Interagency Council for Addressing Disproportionality. One of the stated goals for the council is to assist the Health and Human Services Commission in eliminating health and health access disparities in Texas among racial, multicultural, disadvantaged, ethnic, and regional populations. House Version: Failed - Adjourned; Senate Version: Filed without Governor’s signature, effective immediately- Chapter No. 121.

Utah                    

  • SB 33 Would establish the position of American Indian-Alaskan Native Health Liaison to the Office of Health Disparities Reduction (the bill would change the name of the Center for Multicultural Health). Enacted and Chaptered- Chapter No. 192.

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