§ 23-14-1. Declaration of intent.
(a) Whereas, the state recognizes that many of the children with special health care needs, as well as their families, are forced to bear substantial physical, emotional, social, and financial hardships associated with the child's illness;
(b) Whereas, the financial costs for treatment and continued health care for children with special health care needs are often prohibitive, while many families may be without health care coverage, or be ineligible for publicly funded assistance, or coverage may be inadequate to cover many of the costs related to treatment or continued medical care;
(c) Whereas, many families of children with special health care needs cannot be with their children during vital pre-and post operative periods or for periods of post operative treatment due to their inability to meet travel expenses;
(d) Whereas, many nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island attempt to ameliorate this distressing situation for the children with special health care needs and their families by providing medicines, medical equipment, and funding to help to defray the costs associated with the care and treatment of these youngsters not otherwise provided for; and
(e) Whereas, as admirable as the efforts of these nonprofit organizations are, it is widely acknowledged that they lack the funding to meet all of the remaining needs of children with special health care needs;
(f) It is declared to be the intent of the state to provide a means by which children with special health care needs, whose needs for medical treatment, care, and equipment are not otherwise provided for, may be financed through a voluntary check-off of a portion of an income tax refund owed to a taxpayer by the state. It is also intended that funds generated by the check-off be supplemental to any funds which would otherwise be available for the purposes mentioned in this section, and that the funds be used only for direct provision of medicines, medical equipment, medical treatment, or care to children with special health care needs and travel expenses for child disease victims and their families when it is necessary for the child to receive treatment at an out-of-state medical treatment facility.
(P.L. 1989, ch. 384, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 83, § 48; P.L. 1999, ch. 130, § 48.)