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410 ILCS 503/5

    (410 ILCS 503/5)
    Sec. 5. Legislative findings. The General Assembly finds and declares that:
        (1) Arthritis is the most common, physically
disabling, and costly chronic disease in the United States; it affects 14.5% of the population or more than 40,000,000 Americans of all ages. One in every 7 people and one in every 3 families are affected by the disease.
        (2) Arthritis is the nation's number one disabling
disease and disables 7,000,000 Americans. It is one of the most common and disabling chronic conditions reported by women and far exceeds the reporting of hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and breast, cervical, and ovarian cancers.
        (3) With an aggregate cost of about 1.1% of the gross
national product or an estimated $64,800,000,000 annually in medical expenses, lost wages, and associated economic losses, arthritis and other rheumatic diseases have a significant economic impact on the nation.
        (4) As the leading cause of industrial absenteeism
after the common cold, arthritis accounts nationally for 500,000,000 days of restricted activity and 27,000,000 days lost from work each year.
        (5) The federal Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention project that by the year 2020, the incidence of arthritis will increase by 59% in the State and throughout the country, affecting 20% of the population.
        (6) Programs and services presently are available
that can dramatically impact on early diagnosis and treatment as well as the quality of life of people with arthritis.
        (7) A mechanism for broader dissemination of these
programs and services aimed at prevention, information, and education is needed to help reduce the physical and emotional impact of arthritis and its associated health care and related costs.
(Source: P.A. 97-227, eff. 1-1-12.)