• RSS News – Lou Lang

    • Illinois Rep. Lou Lang, left, and Gov. Bruce Rauner - Crain's Chicago Business (blog) August 5, 2015
      Illinois Rep. Lou Lang, left, and Gov. Bruce RaunerCrain's Chicago Business (blog)Lou Lang—Skokie Democrat, harsh critic of GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner, deputy majority leader in Speaker Mike Madigan's House—happened to hit up that very same governor for a job for his daughter. Or, more accurately, a renewal of the part-time post she ...and more »
    • Lang Moves To Reject Governor's Rollbacks To Anti-Heroin Bill - WUIS 91.9 August 26, 2015
      WUIS 91.9Lang Moves To Reject Governor's Rollbacks To Anti-Heroin BillWUIS 91.9Lou Lang says could be a model for the nation, in combating an uptick of opiod use. The end result requires school nurses and ambulances to be equipped with antidotes, mandates the state maintain a list of heroin-related deaths, and has doctors track ...Jim Dey: Budget brinkm […]
    • Ill. Gov. Removes Medicaid Coverage From Heroin Treatment Bill - WUWF August 27, 2015
      Ill. Gov. Removes Medicaid Coverage From Heroin Treatment BillWUWFSCHAPER: Democratic State Representative Lou Lang says 80 percent of those seeking treatment for opioid dependence in Illinois could qualify for Medicaid coverage. And he notes that the federal government would actually pick up much of that cost.and more »
    • Things to do in and around Greenwich - Greenwich Time August 27, 2015
      Greenwich TimeThings to do in and around GreenwichGreenwich TimeUnder the baton of conductor and music director Zachary Kampler, the group will perform works including Giuseppe Verdi's Grand March from Aida, Phillip Lang's Italian Fiesta, Prelude to Act I from La Traviata by Verdi and Rachmaninoff's Italian Polka.
    • Change is a good thing - Monadnock Ledger Transcript August 27, 2015
      Monadnock Ledger TranscriptChange is a good thingMonadnock Ledger TranscriptThe whole play is one continuous dialogue between just Lou and Stella, one of Lou's regulars, in just one location, a South Philadelphia dive bar with antiquated stools, a Flyers poster on the wall and a “Lou's” neon sign in the window, after the bar's ...
    • Chicago pols try to keep it all in the family - Crain's Chicago Business August 8, 2015
      Crain's Chicago BusinessChicago pols try to keep it all in the familyCrain's Chicago BusinessThat was the governor's response recently when I asked him about my report that as the state budget war developed last spring, House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang—a top lieutenant of Speaker Michael Madigan's—asked the Rauner folks if they could […]
    • Illinois Democrats gather for Democrat Day at State Fair - WREX-TV August 20, 2015
      WREX-TVIllinois Democrats gather for Democrat Day at State FairWREX-TVDemocratic Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie has criticized Gov. Bruce Rauner's reductions in spending for autism services, epilepsy patients and other social services. Lang spoke Thursday at the state fair's Democrat Day. Rauner campaigned on a "turnaround ...Democrats find common gr […]
    • Rauner removes Medicaid coverage from heroin bill - The Herald-News August 25, 2015
      Rauner removes Medicaid coverage from heroin billThe Herald-NewsThe bipartisan legislation would increase the availability of anti-overdose drugs, require first responders to dispense them, and provide more treatment over jail time. House sponsor Skokie Democratic Rep. Lou Lang said the savings from curing addicts ...
    • Iowa/Illinois briefs - Dubuque Telegraph Herald August 25, 2015
      Iowa/Illinois briefsDubuque Telegraph HeraldHouse sponsor Skokie Democratic Rep. Lou Lang said the savings from curing addicts would far outweigh the costs and that restricting Medicaid coverage would cut out a sector from treatment. Iowa GOP lawmakers seek investigation of abortion providers.and more »
    • Campaign cash flows from medical marijuana interests to state Rep. Lou Lang - Reboot Illinois June 15, 2015
      Reboot IllinoisCampaign cash flows from medical marijuana interests to state Rep. Lou LangReboot IllinoisLou Lang isn't a household name, but the veteran state legislator is well known to many as the driving force behind one of the biggest changes to Illinois' law books in decades: The legalization of medical marijuana. He's also been showered […]
  • 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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