• RSS News – Lou Lang

    • Illinois medical marijuana: $100 for patient card - Northwest Herald April 18, 2014
      Northwest HeraldIllinois medical marijuana: $100 for patient cardNorthwest Herald"I'm happy to see that they have changed the provision," said Rep. Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat, who sponsored the medical cannabis legislation and sits on the committee that will vote on the rules. "I did ask them to remove it. I'm not the only person .. […]
    • Investigator wants tougher legislative ethics laws - MiamiHerald.com April 18, 2014
      Investigator wants tougher legislative ethics lawsMiamiHerald.comLou Lang, a Skokie Democrat and a House deputy majority leader, said he had not studied Homer's letter but also questioned whether the rules would have the desired effect. "Everything that happens in government and everything uttered and every request ...and more »
    • Proposed rules for compassionate use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act filed - The Bugle April 19, 2014
      Proposed rules for compassionate use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act filedThe BugleLou Lang (D-Skokie), who sponsored the legislation. “I am pleased with the direction we are going.” The following changes have been incorporated into the proposed rules filed today. Cultivation Centers. While the Act calls for one cultivation center in ...
    • Senate set to review Fine's bill on cyber bullying - Evanston Review April 18, 2014
      Senate set to review Fine's bill on cyber bullyingEvanston ReviewThe Illinois House of Representatives has passed legislation to help protect children from cyber bullying. Authored by Rep. Laura Fine, House Bill 4207 expands the definition of bullying to include cyber bullying that occurs outside of school and on ...and more »
    • Illinois drops plans to ban medical marijuana patients from owning guns - RT April 18, 2014
      Illinois drops plans to ban medical marijuana patients from owning gunsRT“I'm happy to see that they have changed the provision,” added State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie). “I did ask them to remove it. I'm not the only person who did.” Nevertheless, marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance as far as the ...
    • Illinois medical marijuana rules drop gun language - Dekalb Daily Chronicle April 18, 2014
      Illinois medical marijuana rules drop gun languageDekalb Daily ChronicleBoth patients and caregivers would have been required to certify their understanding of the conflict between gun ownership and medical marijuana use. The wording stemmed from an interpretation of federal law. State Rep. Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat, ...
    • Proposed Rules for Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot ... - eNews Park Forest April 18, 2014
      Proposed Rules for Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot ...eNews Park Forest“I applaud all four state agencies for their hard work in creating draft rules that form the basis for the best medical marijuana system in America,” said Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), who sponsored the legislation. “I am pleased with the direction we are ...
    • 'Epidemic' of heroin addiction facing state, house committee hears - Chicago Daily Herald April 17, 2014
      'Epidemic' of heroin addiction facing state, house committee hearsChicago Daily HeraldDan Brady, David Harris, Lou Lang, Michelle Mussman and Mike McAuliffe -- attended the hearing, and said the testimony would be passed on to the rest of their committee. Advertisement. This was the second of four meetings being held around Illinois to ...
    • State medical marijuana rules drop gun language - Canton Daily Ledger April 18, 2014
      State medical marijuana rules drop gun languageCanton Daily LedgerLou Lang, a Skokie Democrat, sponsored the medical cannabis legislation and sits on the committee that will vote on the rules. He said Thursday he has been told the provision “is out of the rules.” The news was greeted warmly by patient advocates.
    • Odds may finally favor a Chicago casino — if Madigan is dealing: Brown - Chicago Sun-Times April 17, 2014
      SFGateOdds may finally favor a Chicago casino — if Madigan is dealing: BrownChicago Sun-TimesLou Lang of Skokie backed off his longtime sponsorship of casino expansion legislation because of a potential conflict of interest. But some of those in attendance who specialize in reading Madigan tea leaves were sure they perceived the speaker's ...New Chicago […]
  • RSS Blogs – Lou Lang

Illinois House Advances Rep. Lou Lang’s Mental Health Parity Enforcement Plan

(Springfield, IL) – A legislative plan to put state enforcement power behind a new federal mental health parity law is advancing in the Illinois General Assembly.

The legislation, House Bill 1530, which the Illinois House approved, 79-32, on April 6, upgrades Illinois’ existing mental health insurance parity law to match federal requirements approved in July 2010 and to give the Illinois Department Insurance the power to enforce the federal standards.

“Federal enforcement is a more remote, lighter touch, relying on telephone calls and mail,” said House Deputy Majority Lou Lang (D-Skokie).

“By matching state law to the federal standards, the Illinois Insurance Department can enforce the federal standards more aggressively than the federal government could by virtue of state face-to-face enforcement activities.”

Lang noted that neither the federal nor state law mandate mental health insurance as defined benefit, but require mental health coverage if other health benefits are offered.

“The federal law does not require coverage for mental and emotional disorders, but does require parity if such coverage is offered for hospital or medical treatment,” said Lang.

In addition to bringing Illinois’s mental health law into compliance with federal standards, Lang’s bill also adds substance abuse treatment and autism care to the list of parity required health insurance benefits.

“Addiction health care and autism health care are vital parts of the broader field of behavioral health care,” said Lang. “And their inclusion as part of a insurance parity framework is critical.”

These provisions are applicable to any plan of a small employer (with 2-50 employees), according to Lang.

“Again, the law does not require coverage for mental, substance abuse or autism,” said Lang. “It only requires parity if other health care treatments are offered.”

Illinois Department of Insurance Director Michael McRaith has noted before an earlier House committee hearing that the independent U.S. Congressional Budget Office found that parity would only cause health insurance premiums to rise by 0.4 percent.

Moreover, research shows that patients that have completed substance use disorder treatment have been shown to reduce emergency room visits by 39%, hospital stays by 35% and total medical costs by 26%.

“House approval of this legislation is an important step toward bringing health insurance parity to addiction health care,” said Lang. “However, the Senate is another key legislative hurdle in the process.”

In addition to Lang, other House sponsors include State Reps: Robyn Gabel (D), William Davis (D), Naomi Jakobsson (D), Fred Crespo (D), Dave Winters (R), Al Riley (R), Sara Feigenholtz (D) Mary Flowers (D) Joe Lyons (D), Maria Antonia Berrios (D), Jack Franks (D), Keith Farnham (D), Linda Chapa LaVia (D), Camille Lilly (D), Cynthia Soto (D), Ann Williams (D), Elizabeth Hernandez (D), John D’Amico (D), Daniel Biss (D), Pat Verschoore (D), and Harry Osterman (D).

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