Directs the commissioner of health to study and report on the very high incidence of asthma in the state.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to direct the commissioner of health to report upon the high incidence of asthma in the state
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Directs the Commissioner of health to study and report on the very high incidence of asthma in New York State
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: The bill directs the commissioner of health, within 90 days of passage of this legislation, to commence a study, examine and evaluate the alarming and disproportionate incidence of asthma in New York State. The following factors need to be evaluated: income level; race; gender; age group; housing accommodations: single family dwelling, two to six family dwelling or housing project; residence proximity to industrial sites. Within one year of the effective date of this act, the commissioner shall report to the governor and the legislature his or her findings and any recommendations he or she deem necessary.
JUSTIFICATION: Almost one in 13 school children suffer from asthma making it the leading serious chronic illness in children and the leading cause of hospitalizations for children under the age of 15. More than 4.8 million children nationwide suffer from asthma and more than 5,000 Americans die from the illness each year. It is estimated that asthmatic children lose 10 million school days each year.
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation has recently identified over 50,000 school-aged children with asthma. The NYC Department of Health has reported that in 2004, there were 10,603 emergency room admissions for pediatric asthma cases. In the entire state there are over 1.6 million New Yorkers suffering from asthma of which more than 380,000 are children. This health problem is serious and growing. In addition, the health costs related to hospitalizations for this disease are tremendous. The New York State Department of Health estimates that cost at over $380 million annually, of which $132 million is the Medicaid share of that expense.
From rural areas to small cities the asthma epidemic is impacting children adversely. In the Bronx County alone there were 10,135 hospital cases of asthma in children younger than 17 reported in 2002, at a rate of more than 902 per 100,000. That is comparing to an average rate of approximately 150 per 100,000 for the rest of the state. Poor children under the age of 4 are four times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma than children in high-income areas. Asthma is an illness that is far too common among our poorest citizens. In New York City, children are almost twice as likely to be hospitalized as children nationwide.
Rural areas such as Fulton County have an asthma hospitalization rate of 407 per 100,000 children under 17 years of age. Other parts of New York State are also severely impacted.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), asthma's impact on health, quality of life, and the economy are substantial. The CDC has also found that the rates of severe asthma continue to disproportionately affect poor and minority populations. For example African-Americans visit emergency departments, are hospitalized and die due to asthma at rates three times higher than rates for white Americans. This legislation will direct New York State to report on the increasing rate of asthma in New York and to report their findings and recommendation on reducing those rates within one year.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011/12: S.1359/A.4429 - Passed Assembly 2009/10: S.4477/A.4802 - Passed Assembly
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Not applicable.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 421 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. DILAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to direct the commissioner of health to report upon the high incidence of asthma in the state THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. (a) Within 90 days of the effective date of this act, the commissioner of health shall commence to examine and evaluate the alarm- ingly high and disproportionate incidence of asthma in the state. Such commissioner shall specifically study and evaluate the following factors related to those persons who have asthma: (i) income level; (ii) race; (iii) gender; (iv) age group; (v) housing accommodations: single family dwelling, two to six family dwelling or housing project; (vi) residence proximity to industrial sites; (vii) residence proximity to highways; and (viii) type of health insurance providing coverage to the person with asthma (private, Medicaid, child health insurance plan or family health plus). (b) Within one year of the effective date of this act, such commis- sioner shall report to the governor and the legislature, his or her findings and any recommendations he or she shall deem necessary. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00598-01-3