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SB-682 Childhood chronic health conditions: racial disparities.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/19/2021 09:00 PM
SB682:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 682


Introduced by Senator Rubio
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Salas)
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Cristina Garcia)

February 19, 2021


An act relating to public health.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 682, as introduced, Rubio. Childhood chronic health conditions: racial disparities.
Existing law establishes the State Department of Public Health, within the California Health and Human Services Agency, and vests the department with certain duties, powers, functions, jurisdiction, and responsibilities over specified public health programs, including programs relating to chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, and tobacco use. Existing law requires the department to establish an Office of Health Equity for the purpose of aligning state resources, decisionmaking, and programs to accomplish specified goals, including, among other things, to improve the health status of all populations and places, with a priority on eliminating health and mental health disparities and inequities.
This bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to require the California Health and Human Services Agency, in collaboration with the departments under its purview, the Governor’s office, the Office of Health Equity, and other relevant agencies and stakeholders, to cut racial disparities in childhood chronic conditions in 1/2 by 2030, while improving overall outcomes for all children. The bill also makes related findings and declarations.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Chronic health conditions impact up to one-third of California children. Chronic health conditions are those that last more than 12 months and are severe enough to create some limitations in usual activity.
(b) Chronic conditions that begin in childhood, such as asthma, diabetes, tobacco use, dental caries, and depression, can last throughout the lifetime and significantly impact health, productivity, and health care costs in adulthood.
(c) Toxic stress in childhood, or adverse childhood experiences, have been shown to significantly increase the risk of chronic diseases. For example, a person with four or more adverse childhood experiences is three times more likely to suffer from depression and 2.2 times more likely to have heart disease.
(d) Chronic health conditions can rob children and families of their well-being by draining time, money, and energy from families. These chronic issues also contribute to problems with school readiness and academic outcomes.
(e) Childhood is an opportune time to intervene with health problems or habits, not only to help change the trajectory of children’s development, but also to lead to a healthier adult population. California’s failure to focus on children’s health and prevention ignores the potential to address medical and behavioral precursors to later diseases, which are costly in terms of dollars and human suffering. Childhood chronic health conditions add preventable burden and cost to the health care system.
(f) Chronic disease is the top cost driver in the health care system.
(g) Due to historic and ongoing underinvestment and disenfranchisement, as well as the impacts of systemic racism in the health care system and throughout society, childhood chronic conditions disproportionately impact children of color, especially Black, Latino, and Native American children. For example, asthma is three times more deadly for Black children as for White children; Latino children in California are significantly more likely to have a history of tooth decay and untreated tooth decay than White children; and Native American children reported higher than average rates of depression-related feelings on school surveys.
(h) The Let’s Get Healthy California effort expressed the commitment of our state to promote healthier and more equitable communities. A new initiative is needed to build on these ideas and ensure the state is accountable for outcomes-focused action to improve children’s well-being.
(i) Accordingly, California will take affirmative antiracist and prohealth action to support the well-being of children and reduce racial disparities in chronic childhood health conditions.

SEC. 2.

 It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to require the California Health and Human Services Agency, in collaboration with the departments under its purview, the Governor’s office, the Office of Health Equity, and other relevant agencies and stakeholders, to cut racial disparities in childhood chronic conditions in one-half by 2030, while improving overall outcomes for all children.