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Santa Monica Assemblymember Announces Creation of Committee to Tackle Two Prevalent Diseases  

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By Lookout Staff

March 3, 2017 -- Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) on Thursday announced the creation of a Select Committee on Diabetes and Heart Disease Prevention, which he will chair.

The committee will examine the epidemics of type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, tooth decay, and other associated health outcomes, the Assemblymember's office said in a statement.

“Millions of Californians are suffering from the destructive health impacts and mounting financial burdens of type 2 diabetes and obesity,” Bloom said. “We are facing an epidemic and this committee will allow us to study the scale of the problem and develop strategies to mitigate it.”

The Select Committee will hold a series of hearings across the state focusing on heart disease and diabetes, whose treatment costs the state "tens of billions of dollars annually in healthcare," Bloom's office said.

"Diabetes, in particular, is now the most expensive chronic condition in the country in terms of personal health care spending and those with diabetes spend over twice as much on medical expenditures as those without," the statement said.

It is not the first time Bloom tackles the issue. The former Santa Monica mayor has sponsored legislation that would have imposed a 2-cent-per-ounce fee on sugary drinks to help fund clinics that treat obesity, diabetes and oral health ("Santa Monica Representative to Submit New Bill Targeting Sugar-sweetened Drinks," March 9, 2016).

The latest version of the bill was pulled last April after it failed to win enough support from members of the Assembly Health Committee to ensure its passage.

As a Santa Monica councilmember, Bloom tackled other health-related issues, supporting strict smoking bans and championing blood drives.

Bloom chairs the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Transportation.

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