Calif. Senate OKs Diabetes Action Plan

The Senate this week — in a unanimous floor vote — passed a bill to create an action plan and cost assessment specific to diabetes.

Concurrence of AB 1592 by Assembly member Beth Gaines (R-Roseville) is expected today in the Assembly which would send the bill to the governor’s office for final approval.

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), introducing the bill on the Senate floor Monday, said the damage from diabetes is so pervasive that it dramatically affects the California economy as well as the health of its citizens.  

“This bill would require the California Department of Public Health to submit a diabetes action plan” as well as a second report that goes beyond impacts on health, Padilla said.

“They must also assess the impact of diabetes on the state — not just in terms of health but the budget and economy of the state in terms of the fiscal impact, the complications diabetes has on people’s productivity and the cost to health care,” Padilla said.

This is the first time the state will take such a comprehensive look at diabetes on its own, Padilla said. Establishing a cost figure for diabetes care could open up legislative efforts to address it, Padilla said. 

“We do have some isolated efforts [at monitoring diabetes cost],” he said. “But we need a singular public education action plan to help guide policy and future initiatives.”

Sen. Ted Gaines (D-Roseville), who is the husband of bill author Beth Gaines, said the need for diabetes action is “critical.”

Ted Gaines was an Assembly member when he won a Senate seat in a special election in his district. Beth Gaines then won a special election to succeed him in the Assembly. 

“We have an epidemic,” he said. “Some studies show that 1 in 3 children will come down with diabetes, based on their health and what they’re eating. We need to do everything we can to educate our children, as well as adults, in California.”

The bill passed the Senate on a 35-0 vote.

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