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First Substitute S.C.R. 4

Senator D. Chris Buttars proposes the following substitute bill:





Chief Sponsor: D. Chris Buttars

House Sponsor: John Dougall

             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This concurrent resolution of the Legislature and the Governor designates Obesity
             11      Awareness Month in Utah and urges increased medical coverage for obesity
             12      procedures.
             13      Highlighted Provisions:
             14          This resolution:
             15          .    designates September 2009 as Obesity Awareness Month in the state and September
             16      5, 2009, as "Walk from Obesity" Day; and
             17          .    urges that health care providers increase coverage of overweight and obesity
             18      procedures as a means of preventing increased future health care costs to the state
             19      and to businesses.
             20      Special Clauses:
             21          None
             23      Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:
             24          WHEREAS, more than half of all American adults are overweight, representing
             25      approximately 69 million people;

             26          WHEREAS, obese individuals have a 50% to 100% increased risk of premature death
             27      from all causes compared to individuals with a healthy weight;
             28          WHEREAS, morbid obesity is associated with a myriad of serious conditions,
             29      including hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, osteoarthritis, and gallbladder
             30      disease;
             31          WHEREAS, obesity can lead to a 50% to 100% increase in risk of death to an
             32      individual from all causes;
             33          WHEREAS, over 280,000 Americans die each year from obesity related diseases;
             34          WHEREAS, obesity has been linked to increases in workers' compensation claims;
             35          WHEREAS, studies show dramatically higher health care costs for overweight and
             36      obese patients and lower productivity in the workplace;
             37          WHEREAS, addressing obesity challenges requires an understanding of the interaction
             38      of genetic, physiological, environmental, and behavioral factors and abandonment of the
             39      historic prejudice that being overweight or obese was simply the result of personal lifestyle
             40      decisions and therefore within the domain of individual responsibilities and not part of
             41      traditional medical care;
             42          WHEREAS, although Medicare recognized obesity as a disease in 2004, few treatment
             43      options are currently reimbursable by most health plans;
             44          WHEREAS, medical procedures have been developed to help improve the health of
             45      obese patients;
             46          WHEREAS, the American Diabetes Association, in its Standards of Care, advises
             47      bariatric surgery be considered for adult patients with a Body Mass Index greater than 35
             48      kg/mz and type 2 diabetes mellitus;
             49          WHEREAS, medical studies have demonstrated that Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric
             50      Banding, Laproscopic Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass, and other alternatives for the morbidly
             51      obese supported by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery result in
             52      significant weight loss;
             53          WHEREAS, another alternative, Laproscopic Bariatric surgery, has been demonstrated
             54      to be an effective weight-loss alternative for the morbidly obese;
             55          WHEREAS, a study of the economic impact of bariatric surgery shows, as a return of
             56      investment, that the costs of bariatric surgery are fully recovered in just over two years;

             57          WHEREAS, some health plans, including Medicare, Medicaid, Select Health, by way
             58      of a rider, Deseret Mutual Benefits Association, Intermountain Health Care, Cigna, Public
             59      Employees Health Program, ValueCare's University of Utah's plan, Blue Cross of both Texas
             60      and Wyoming, Blue Cross Blue Shield of both Minnesota and Massachusetts, Fiserv Health,
             61      Blue Cross/ValueCare through Kennecott, EBMS, and Molina, provide overweight and obese
             62      health coverage; and
             63          WHEREAS, covering overweight and obesity procedures will save health care and
             64      health insurance providers the costs of covering the many related health conditions suffered by
             65      the overweight and obese:
             66          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the
             67      Governor concurring therein, designate the month of September 2009 as Obesity Awareness
             68      Month and September 5, 2009, as "Walk from Obesity" Day in the state of Utah and urge those
             69      affected by obesity, including health care professionals, educators, patients, businesses, and
             70      families, to participate in activities that heighten awareness of obesity.
             71          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor urge health care
             72      and health insurance providers to include treatments for overweight and obesity, including
             73      surgical procedures, in their service plans as a means of preventing increased future health care
             74      costs to the state and to businesses.
             75          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Utah
             76      Department of Health, the Utah Insurance Association, the Utah Health Care Association, the
             77      National Association of Health Underwriters, the National Association of State Comprehensive
             78      Insurance Plans, the Utah State Board of Education, the state's local school boards, and local
             79      chambers of commerce within the state.

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