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TRENTON – The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee today approved legislation sponsored by Senator Bob Gordon requiring the State Department of Health to develop a diabetes action plan.
“Diabetes is a serious health issue in the United States. It affects nearly one-out-of-nine residents here in New Jersey,” said Gordon (D-Bergen/Passaic). “It is time that we bring together state agencies and stakeholders and help develop a plan of action for the prevention and management this disease.”
The legislation would require the Department of Health to work with the Departments of Children and Families and Human Services to conduct biannual reports on the impact of diabetes on state programs and budgets, as well as the benefits of current programs to address diabetes. Secondly, the bill would require the Department of Health to create an action plan to make recommendations for potential legislation, as well as to include detailed budget blueprints identifying needs, costs and resources required to implement these plan.
According to a 2011 report issued by the Virginia-based Institute for Alternative Futures, more than 650,000 New Jersey residents have been diagnosed with diabetes. Moreover, it is estimated that an additional 375,000 residents have undiagnosed cases.
New Jersey will be joining Kentucky and Texas by enacting legislation that requires diabetes action plans, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures (NCSL). Similar bills are also pending in Michigan and North Carolina.
“One of the major cost drivers in public health policy is the rising insurance rates for chronic diseases,” said Gordon. “It is time for the state to develop effective policies that try to address the diabetes epidemic.”
The bill was approved with a vote of 9-0 and now awaits consideration by the full Senate.
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