73
THE SENATE                           S.C.R. NO.            
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________


                     SENATE CONCURRENT
                        RESOLUTION
REQUESTING THE DEPARTMENTS OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES TO STUDY
   HOW HAWAII WOULD RESPOND TO AND SUPPORT FEDERAL ACTION TO
   AMEND MEDICARE BENEFITS TO INCLUDE PRESCRIPTION DRUG
   ASSISTANCE TO THE ELDERLY AND DISABLED.



 1       WHEREAS, outpatient prescription drugs, which are not
 2   covered under Medicare, are a substantial out-of-pocket burden
 3   for many Medicare beneficiaries, as over one-third of
 4   beneficiaries have no coverage for prescription drugs; and
 5   
 6       WHEREAS, it has been argued that because roughly two-thirds
 7   of beneficiaries have some type of drug coverage from other
 8   sources, a Medicare drug benefit for all beneficiaries is not
 9   necessary; and
10   
11       WHEREAS, however, recent research has identified many gaps
12   in private drug coverage and the degree of protection it
13   affords; and
14   
15       WHEREAS, the Prescription Drug Fairness for Seniors Act
16   (Act) (H.R. 664/S. 731) would allow 39,000,000 Medicare
17   beneficiaries to buy prescription drugs at up to forty percent
18   of current retail prices; and
19   
20       WHEREAS, as of February 10, 2000, 138 House congressional
21   members and 12 Senate congressional members have co-sponsored
22   the Act, making it the most broadly supported drug reform bill
23   in Congress; and
24   
25       WHEREAS, this legislation would end price discrimination
26   among prescription drug makers against the elderly and disabled
27   on Medicare who have no or inadequate prescription drug
28   insurance coverage; and
29   
30       WHEREAS, a number of states have state-funded programs,
31   separate from Medicare, to assist elderly and disabled
32   individuals to purchase prescription drugs, however, Hawaii is
33   not among these states; now, therefore,

 
Page 2                                                     73
                                  S.C.R. NO.            
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1       BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twentieth Legislature
 2   of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2000, the House of
 3   Representatives concurring, that in anticipation of federal
 4   action to amend Medicare benefits to include prescription drug
 5   assistance to the elderly and disabled, the Departments of
 6   Health and Human Services are requested to study how Hawaii
 7   would respond to and support these changes; and
 8   
 9       BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Departments of Health and
10   Human Services report the findings and recommendations to the
11   Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of
12   the Regular Session of 2001; and
13   
14       BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
15   Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Directors of Health
16   and Human Services.
17 
18 
19 
20                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________