• RSS News – Lou Lang

    • Illinois lawmakers propose measure to battle heroin abuse - Washington Times March 2, 2015
      CBS LocalIllinois lawmakers propose measure to battle heroin abuseWashington TimesHouse Democratic Assistant Majority Leader Lou Lang and GOP State Rep. John Anthony said the cost of the legislation is far cheaper than idly watching the problem continue to grow around the state. “The state has a $30 billion-plus budget. We'll have ...Illinois lawmakers […]
    • Question of the day - The Capitol Fax Blog (blog) March 2, 2015
      Question of the dayThe Capitol Fax Blog (blog)Lou Lang bi-partisan "Heroin Bill" press conference at 2:00 pm CT Available at blueroomstream.com. by Blueroomstream via twitter 11:42 AM. How did Illinois' congressional delegation vote on last week's DHS measure? bit.ly/1DL4qy3. by Illinois Review ...
    • Ploy or not, Chicago has to administer exams - The Capitol Fax Blog (blog) March 2, 2015
      Ploy or not, Chicago has to administer examsThe Capitol Fax Blog (blog)Reversing its decision to limit a new state standardized test to just 10 percent of Chicago Public Schools students, CPS officials said Monday that with a week to go before the PARCC testing window opens, all CPS students in 3rd through 8th grade will ...and more »
    • AG Madigan's “top 10″ list - The Capitol Fax Blog (blog) March 2, 2015
      AG Madigan's “top 10″ listThe Capitol Fax Blog (blog)“Identity theft has long been a top concern for Illinois residents,” Attorney General Madigan said. “But in light of last year's massive data breaches, it is clearer than ever that much more must be done to protect sensitive data while ensuring that ...and more »
    • New Legislation Looks to Curb Heroin - WSIL TV March 3, 2015
      New Legislation Looks to Curb HeroinWSIL TV"You can get high on heroin today in our state, and in any state in this country, for five dollars," said State Representative Lou Lang. Lang knows availability and price make the fight against the deadly drug even harder. "We learned during these ...and more »
    • Comprehensive, Controversial Heroin Legislation Introduced - WUIS 91.9 March 3, 2015
      WUIS 91.9Comprehensive, Controversial Heroin Legislation IntroducedWUIS 91.9Rep. John Cabello, R-Machesney Park, former Elmhurt Republican Rep. Dennis Reboletti, and Rep. John Anthony, R-Plainfield stand behind Democratic Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, as the group introduces what they say is comprehensive, and sure to be ...
    • Lawmakers To Propose Heroin Legislation - WICS-TV March 2, 2015
      Lawmakers To Propose Heroin LegislationWICS-TVDemocratic Representative Lou Lang and Republican Representative John Anthony say their bill follows a panel of lawmakers' meetings around the state to learn more about a rise in heroin use and its correlation to prescription drug abuse. The ...
    • 5-time Grammy award winning artists, The Blind Boys of Alabama, coming to ... - Americus Times-Recorder March 2, 2015
      5-time Grammy award winning artists, The Blind Boys of Alabama, coming to ...Americus Times-RecorderThey have appeared on recordings with Bonnie Raitt, Tom Waits, k.d. lang, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Willie Nelson, Susan Tedeschi, Solomon Burke, Aaron Neville, Ben Harper, and most recently Justin Vernon, Patty Griffin, Merrill Garbus, and Sam Amidon ...
    • New IL bill takes aim at stopping heroin and painkiller abuse - WREX-TV March 3, 2015
      WREX-TVNew IL bill takes aim at stopping heroin and painkiller abuseWREX-TVLou Lang, House Democratic Assistant Majority Leader. "It's obviously a big bill. It has a lot of pieces to it. Definitely something that offers a good starting framework but there will be a lot of changes as we move through the legislative process ...
    • Club Calendar - The Providence Journal March 2, 2015
      Club CalendarThe Providence JournalRock-A-Blues, rock, Skyline Lounge, Lang's Bowlarama, 225 Niantic Ave., Cranston. 944- 0500, langsbowlarama.com. 9:30 pm-1 am. No cover. .... (800) 200-2882, foxwoods.com. 8 pm. $55, $75. The Smokin' Toads, rock, Lou's Cafe, 47 Summer St., Manville.
  • RSS Blogs – Lou Lang

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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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