California Bill To Boost Culturally Appropriate Hepatitis B Prevention
TheCalifornia Assembly on Jan. 29 voted 46-16 to approve legislation (AB 158) thatwould require the state Department of Health Care Services to set up the Hepatitis BPrevention and Management Pilot Program Fund within the Office of Multicultural Health, Asian Week reports. The program would givegrants to public and not-for-profit groups in Los Angeles and the Bay Area that haveculturally and language-appropriate hepatitis B public awareness campaigns.
In addition, the bill would expand Medicaid coverage to people with chronichepatitis B who are not yet disabled. According to Asian Week,people with chronic hepatitis currently are only eligible for Medicaid coverageif they are considered disabled by the disease (Swing, Asian Week,2/6).
According to CDC, Asian-Americans die from hepatitis B-relatedillnesses, such as liver cancer and cirrhosis, at a rate seven times greaterthan whites. According to the Asian LiverCenter at StanfordUniversity, chronic hepatitis B affects 0.3% of the U.S. population, thoughmore than 50%, or about 700,000 people, of those with hepatitis B are Asian (Kaiser Health Disparities Report,5/17/07).
The bill is now under consideration in the Senate (Asian Week,2/6).
Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Weekly HealthDisparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of TheHenry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.