• RSS News – Lou Lang

    • Secretary of State Jesse White wants seat belts on new school buses - The State Journal-Register February 15, 2017
      The SouthernSecretary of State Jesse White wants seat belts on new school busesThe State Journal-RegisterLou Lang, D-Skokie, and Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Chicago, are the chief sponsors for two bills that would require new school buses to use three-point seat belts for passengers. Three-point seat belts, which go across the chest and waist of the passenger .. […]
    • Around the state 2-15-17 - MyWebTimes.com February 16, 2017
      Around the state 2-15-17MyWebTimes.comThe administration endorsed seat belts on school buses in 2015. Six other states have passed laws requiring them. Democratic Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie is sponsoring the measure. He says it's time to make sure children are just as safe on school buses as ...and more »
    • Emanuel's fund-raising effort doesn't impress - Nadig Newspapers February 17, 2017
      Chicago TribuneEmanuel's fund-raising effort doesn't impressNadig NewspapersScott Waguespack (32nd), who may run for mayor, had $60,374. The guy who will never run and who will stay in the Illinois House until Madigan quits is Lou Lang of Skokie, age 67, who had $1,256,339 on hand and who raised $545,476 last year. By 2030 ...Former Obama aide fine […]
    • Local Casino Project Could Have Springfield Support - WSIU January 26, 2017
      WSIULocal Casino Project Could Have Springfield SupportWSIUA leader in the Illinois House says while he won't talk about specifics, he supports an expansion of gaming in the state - which could include a project in southern Illinois. The so-called "Grand Bargain" in the Illinois Senate calls for additional ...
    • Rauner's pivot on Senate budget plan provides political breathing room - Chicago Tribune February 18, 2017
      Chicago TribuneRauner's pivot on Senate budget plan provides political breathing roomChicago TribuneLou Lang of Skokie, a top Madigan deputy, countered that Rauner latched onto the Senate effort because he has been "flailing around trying to come up with some magic formula." "But the only magic formula for a governor is to roll up his sle […]
    • Party raises $270000 for Planned Parenthood Illinois - Chicago Tribune February 14, 2017
      Party raises $270000 for Planned Parenthood IllinoisChicago TribuneLou Lang (D-Skokie), who advocated for face-to-face meetings with local elected officials whenever possible. PPIA's educational and electoral activities extend to grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and their work on behalf of women's— and ...
    • Lawmakers: To prepare for disasters, consider zombies - Jacksonville Journal-Courier February 11, 2017
      Jacksonville Journal-CourierLawmakers: To prepare for disasters, consider zombiesJacksonville Journal-CourierLou Lang, D-Skokie, said the proposal “awakened various zombies in the chamber.” Rep. Steven Andersson, R-Geneva, questioned which type of zombie should be used as a model for natural disaster preparedness, noting that the undead featured on the ...an […]
    • Packed house at Skokie town hall on mental health - Chicago Tribune February 14, 2017
      Chicago TribunePacked house at Skokie town hall on mental healthChicago TribuneLocal, regional and national legislators talked about the state of mental health care Friday Feb. 10, 2017 at a forum sponsored by Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center held at the Skokie Public Library. (Mike Isaacs / Pioneer Press).
    • Rauner calls for lawmakers to resolve Illinois budget crisis - Suburban Life Publications January 25, 2017
      Suburban Life PublicationsRauner calls for lawmakers to resolve Illinois budget crisisSuburban Life PublicationsRauner also said he's "deeply optimistic" about the future of Illinois despite the state's problems. House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang gave the Democrats' response to Rauner's address. Lang says Illinois should hal […]
    • States find new ways to troll Trump - POLITICO - Politico February 11, 2017
      PoliticoStates find new ways to troll Trump - POLITICOPoliticoLawmakers are getting creative in their attempts to mock, challenge and repudiate the president.and more »
  • 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).