• RSS News – Lou Lang

    • 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 […]
    • 6/5/15 Full Show Podcast (Lizzie Skurnick, James and Cristin, Lou Lang) - WGN Radio June 6, 2015
      WGN Radio6/5/15 Full Show Podcast (Lizzie Skurnick, James and Cristin, Lou Lang)WGN RadioPatti opens the show with Pretty Late pal James Vickery riding sidecar. Then, author Lizzie Skurnick chats about her new book and many personally invented words. Next, IL house leader Lou Lang discusses the budget questions hanging over Springfield.
    • Dems suggest temporary state budget; Rauner insists on changes - Belleville News-Democrat June 30, 2015
      Belleville News-DemocratDems suggest temporary state budget; Rauner insists on changesBelleville News-DemocratLou Lang, the deputy majority leader in the Illinois House, said legislation is expected to be filed later Tuesday that would help “keep the lights on,” though he declined to say how much money the stop-gap measure would provide or which services it […]
    • Legislation to fight heroin on governor's desk - Bloomington Pantagraph June 30, 2015
      Bloomington PantagraphLegislation to fight heroin on governor's deskBloomington PantagraphSPRINGFIELD — Against the backdrop of the state's budget crisis, lawmakers have sent Gov. Bruce Rauner a proposal to fight the heroin epidemic that could cost as much as $30 million. But, the main sponsor of the legislation, state Rep. Lou Lang, D ...and more  […]
    • Governor Bruce Rauner, Illinois lawmakers must pass new state budget by ... - WLS-TV June 30, 2015
      WLS-TVGovernor Bruce Rauner, Illinois lawmakers must pass new state budget by ...WLS-TVLou Lang, D-Skokie. Democrats continue to refuse to negotiate over Rauner's call for a property tax freeze, budget cuts and other reforms. On Tuesday afternoon, Madigan floated the temporary budget fix to outflank Gov. Rauner. "I would simply hope the ...and more […]
    • Miller: Madigan, Rauner sending messages across Springfield - Northwest Herald June 30, 2015
      Miller: Madigan, Rauner sending messages across SpringfieldNorthwest HeraldMadigan's Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang presided over the proceeding. A newspaper reported that Lang voted “No” in order to file a motion to reconsider the vote that would keep it alive. OK, but if you watch the roll call, Lang pushed his red button ...and more »
    • Rauner staffer's live tweets no Favorites of Dems - Chicago Sun-Times June 5, 2015
      Chicago Sun-TimesRauner staffer's live tweets no Favorites of DemsChicago Sun-Times“Seriously, Lou. Give it up. It is a sexist smear campaign you and your colleagues continue to engage in,” Rauner's communication director Lance Trover (@ltrover) tweeted. Trover also tweeted: “Lou Lang – another politician Madigan controls,” and ...House advances wo […]
    • The Sunday Spin Full Show 6/7/15: Kurt Erickson, State Representative Lou ... - WGN Radio June 7, 2015
      WGN RadioThe Sunday Spin Full Show 6/7/15: Kurt Erickson, State Representative Lou ...WGN RadioThis Sunday, we are spinning right back to the Allstate Showcase Studio after spending a week in Springfield. Guests for this week show include: Kurt Erickson, Springfield bureau chief for the Lee Enterprises newspapers, State Representative Lou Lang ...
    • Pot claims don't hold up - Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette June 29, 2015
      Pot claims don't hold upChampaign/Urbana News-GazetteLou Lang, a Skokie Democrat who is the state's leading proponent of this quackery, had to do to pass this bogus bill was hold a few emotional legislative hearings featuring pathetically ill people demanding marijuana while simultaneously raising the ...and more »
    • Far Northwest Side residents concerned about proposed med pot dispenary - Chicago Sun-Times June 26, 2015
      Chicago Sun-TimesFar Northwest Side residents concerned about proposed med pot dispenaryChicago Sun-Times“I do not want the veterans to suffer because the Senate didn't agree on the FOID card issue,” Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, told fellow House members. He said it's an issue of “fundamental fairness” to allow medical marijuana users to keep or obtain […]
  • 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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