Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB1911
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Full Text of SB1911  98th General Assembly


Rep. Michael P. McAuliffe

Filed: 5/28/2013





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 1911 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 5. The Department of Public Health Powers and
5Duties Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois is
6amended by adding Section 2310-665 as follows:
7    (20 ILCS 2310/2310-665 new)
8    Sec. 2310-665. Hepatitis C Task Force.
9    (a) The General Assembly finds and declares the following:
10        (1) Viral hepatitis is a contagious and
11    life-threatening disease that has a substantial and
12    increasing effect upon the lifespans and quality of life of
13    at least 5,000,000 persons living in the United States and
14    as many as 180,000,000 worldwide. According to the U.S.
15    Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the chronic
16    form of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus



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1    (HBV) account for the vast majority of hepatitis-related
2    mortalities in the U.S., yet as many as 65% to 75% of
3    infected Americans remain unaware that they are infected
4    with the virus, prompting the U.S. Centers for Disease
5    Control and Prevention (CDC) to label these viruses as the
6    silent epidemic. HCV and HBV are major public health
7    problems that cause chronic liver diseases, such as
8    cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer. The 5-year
9    survival rate for primary liver cancer is less than 5%.
10    These viruses are also the leading cause of liver
11    transplantation in the United States. While there is a
12    vaccine for HBV, no vaccine exists for HCV. However, there
13    are anti-viral treatments for HCV that can improve the
14    prognosis or actually clear the virus from the patient's
15    system. Unfortunately, the vast majority of infected
16    patients remain unaware that they have the virus since
17    there are generally no symptoms. Therefore, there is a dire
18    need to aide the public in identifying certain risk factors
19    that would warrant testing for these viruses. Millions of
20    infected patients remain undiagnosed and continue to be at
21    elevated risks for developing more serious complications.
22    More needs to be done to educate the public about this
23    disease and the risk factors that warrant testing. In some
24    cases, infected patients play an unknowing role in further
25    spreading this infectious disease.
26        (2) The existence of HCV was definitively published and



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1    discovered by medical researchers in 1989. Prior to this
2    date, HCV is believed to have spread unchecked. The
3    American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
4    (AASLD) recommends that primary care physicians screen all
5    patients for a history of any viral hepatitis risk factor
6    and test those individuals with at least one identifiable
7    risk factor for the virus. Some of the most common risk
8    factors have been identified by AASLD, HHS, and the U.S.
9    Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as other public
10    health and medical research organizations, and include the
11    following:
12            (A) anyone who has received a blood transfusion
13        prior to 1992;
14            (B) anyone who is a Vietnam-era veteran;
15            (C) anyone who has abnormal liver function tests;
16            (D) anyone infected with the HIV virus;
17            (E) anyone who has used a needle to inject drugs;
18            (F) any health care, emergency medical, or public
19        safety worker who has been stuck by a needle or exposed
20        to any mucosal fluids of an HCV-infected person; and
21            (G) any children born to HCV-infected mothers.
22        A 1994 study determined that Caucasian Americans
23    statistically accounted for the most number of infected
24    persons in the United States, while the highest incidence
25    rates were among African and Hispanic Americans.
26        (3) In January of 2010, the Institute of Medicine



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1    (IOM), commissioned by the CDC, issued a comprehensive
2    report entitled Hepatitis and Liver Cancer: A National
3    Strategy for Prevention and Control of Hepatitis B and C.
4    The key findings and recommendations from the IOM's report
5    are (A) there is a lack of knowledge and awareness about
6    chronic viral hepatitis on the part of health care and
7    social service providers, (B) there is a lack of knowledge
8    and awareness about chronic viral hepatitis among at-risk
9    populations, members of the public, and policy makers, and
10    (C) there is insufficient understanding about the extent
11    and seriousness of the public health problem, so inadequate
12    public resources are being allocated to prevention,
13    control, and surveillance programs.
14        (4) In this same 2010 IOM report, researchers compared
15    the prevalence and incidences of HCV, HBV, and HIV and
16    found that, although there are only 1,100,000 HIV/AIDS
17    infected persons in the United States and over 4,000,000
18    Americans infected with viral hepatitis, the percentage of
19    those with HIV that are unaware they have HIV is only 21%
20    as opposed to approximately 70% of those with viral
21    hepatitis being unaware that they have viral hepatitis. It
22    appears that public awareness of risk factors associated
23    with each of these diseases could be a major factor in the
24    alarming disparity between the percentage of the
25    population that is infected with one of these blood
26    viruses, but unaware that they are infected.



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1        (5) In light of the widely varied nature of the risk
2    factors mentioned in this subsection (a), the previous
3    findings by the Institute of Medicine, and the clear
4    evidence of the disproportional public awareness between
5    HIV and viral hepatitis, it is clearly in the public
6    interest for this State to establish a task force to gather
7    testimony and develop an action plan to (A) increase public
8    awareness of the risk factors for these viruses, (B)
9    improve access to screening for these viruses, and (C)
10    provide those infected with information about the
11    prognosis, treatment options, and elevated risk of
12    developing cirrhosis and liver cancer. There is clear and
13    increasing evidence that many adults in Illinois and in the
14    United States have at least one of the risk factors
15    mentioned in this subsection (a).
16        (6) The General Assembly also finds that it is in the
17    public interest to bring communities of Illinois-based
18    veterans of American military service into familiarity
19    with the issues created by this disease, because many
20    veterans, especially Vietnam-era veterans, have at least
21    one of the previously enumerated risk factors and are
22    especially prone to being affected by this disease; and
23    because veterans of American military service should enjoy
24    in all cases, and do enjoy in most cases, adequate access
25    to health care services that include medical management and
26    care for preexisting and long-term medical conditions,



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1    such as infection with the hepatitis virus.
2    (b) There is established the Hepatitis C Task Force within
3the Department of Public Health. The purpose of the Task Force
4shall be to:
5        (1) develop strategies to identify and address the
6    unmet needs of persons with hepatitis C in order to enhance
7    the quality of life of persons with hepatitis C by
8    maximizing productivity and independence and addressing
9    emotional, social, financial, and vocational challenges of
10    persons with hepatitis C;
11        (2) develop strategies to provide persons with
12    hepatitis C greater access to various treatments and other
13    therapeutic options that may be available; and
14        (3) develop strategies to improve hepatitis C
15    education and awareness.
16    (c) The Task Force shall consist of 17 members as follows:
17        (1) the Director of Public Health, the Director of
18    Veterans' Affairs, and the Director of Human Services, or
19    their designees, who shall serve ex officio;
20        (2) ten public members who shall be appointed by the
21    Director of Public Health from the medical, patient, and
22    service provider communities, including, but not limited
23    to, HCV Support, Inc.; and
24        (3) four members of the General Assembly, appointed one
25    each by the President of the Senate, the Minority Leader of
26    the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives,



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1    and the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.
2    Vacancies in the membership of the Task Force shall be
3filled in the same manner provided for in the original
5    (d) The Task Force shall organize within 120 days following
6the appointment of a majority of its members and shall select a
7chairperson and vice-chairperson from among the members. The
8chairperson shall appoint a secretary, who need not be a member
9of the Task Force.
10    (e) The public members shall serve without compensation and
11shall not be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the
12performance of their duties, unless funds become available to
13the Task Force.
14    (f) The Task Force shall be entitled to call to its
15assistance and avail itself of the services of the employees of
16any State, county, or municipal department, board, bureau,
17commission, or agency as it may require and as may be available
18to it for its purposes.
19    (g) The Task Force may meet and hold hearings as it deems
21    (h) The Department of Public Health shall provide staff
22support to the Task Force.
23    (i) The Task Force shall report its findings and
24recommendations to the Governor and to the General Assembly,
25along with any legislative bills that it desires to recommend
26for adoption by the General Assembly, no later than December



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131, 2015.
2    (j) The Task Force is abolished and this Section is
3repealed on January 1, 2016.
4    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
5becoming law.".