• RSS News – Lou Lang

    • Illinois Medical Marijuana Pilot Program Extended to 2020 - NBC Chicago (blog) May 27, 2016
      NBC Chicago (blog)Illinois Medical Marijuana Pilot Program Extended to 2020NBC Chicago (blog)Rep. Lou Lang announced an agreement with Gov. Bruce Rauner Friday to extend the state's medical marijuana pilot program to 2020. "Governor Rauner and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin deserve credit for their willingness and commitment to reform ...State le […]
    • GOP: Dems must defy leaders who 'pulled the plug' on budget - Chicago Sun-Times May 27, 2016
      Chicago Sun-TimesGOP: Dems must defy leaders who 'pulled the plug' on budgetChicago Sun-TimesLou Lang, D-Skokie. “This is b——-,” Sandack screamed as several other House Republicans also exchanged words with Democrats about the vote. Many lawmakers say they were caught off guard by Madigan's proposals because they have been struggling ...House […]
    • Performing and Fine Arts High School at LHS hosts fundraiser - Eagle-Tribune May 27, 2016
      Performing and Fine Arts High School at LHS hosts fundraiserEagle-TribuneLAWRENCE — Friday night at Lawrence High School, the PFA theater company will host a Broadway Revue Night featuring alumni and current students. "It is going to be a wonderful opportunity to review all of the shows the PFA theater department has put ...
    • Editorial: State needs budget, but gets rhetoric and a useless tug-of-war - Jacksonville Journal Courier May 26, 2016
      Jacksonville Journal CourierEditorial: State needs budget, but gets rhetoric and a useless tug-of-warJacksonville Journal CourierBut that's what happens when the Democrat-controlled Legislature falls lock-step with its powerful chiefs. It abdicates its responsibilities and tries to poison the well to justify the actions. Skokie Democratic representative […]
    • Illinois House Approves Budget Plan; Will Govenor Sign It? - MyStateline.com May 26, 2016
      MyStateline.comIllinois House Approves Budget Plan; Will Govenor Sign It?MyStateline.comLou Lang (D-16th). The debate was cut short by a procedural motion leaving Republicans furious and helpless. Republicans left the chamber protesting the way Democrats pushed the bill through over Republican objections. "This just has a smell, a foul ...
    • A team paddles in a past Lou Marcel Canoe Race. - The Harvell gazette May 26, 2016
      The Harvell gazetteA team paddles in a past Lou Marcel Canoe Race.The Harvell gazetteThis year's race, hosted by the Crescent Yacht Club, will benefit Veterans Northeast Outreach Center in Haverhill. The event will happen rain or shine. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and opening ceremonies are at 9 a.m. behind the Essex County ...
    • Corrections and clarifications for Friday, May 27, 2016 - Chicago Tribune May 26, 2016
      Corrections and clarifications for Friday, May 27, 2016Chicago TribuneLou Lang, D-Skokie, spoke to reporters about the state budget impasse while marching in the rally. He was with a group of marchers, not at the podium. The rally was a combination of public employee unions, private sector unions and community groups.
    • House Passes Budget - Alton Daily News May 26, 2016
      Alton Daily NewsHouse Passes BudgetAlton Daily NewsLou Lang blasted the governor for not seeking relief from the courts. “You can say we're overspending but you better include when you're talking about overspending the lack of action by the second floor of this building when regarding consent decrees.”and more »
    • Trotting Fillies spar in Ohio Sires Stakes - Harnesslink May 26, 2016
      HarnesslinkTrotting Fillies spar in Ohio Sires StakesHarnesslinkBite The Taxman, Iron Duke, Keystone Nordic, Rompaway Wally, and Southwind Wrangler each had two of their progeny nominated to the OSS program, while All In Hall, Home Stretch, Ilooklikemymom, Lou's Legacy, Manhattan, OU Man, Rose Run Hooligan ...
    • Rep. Lang Calls On Sen. Kirk To Act - FOX Illinois May 3, 2016
      FOX IllinoisRep. Lang Calls On Sen. Kirk To ActFOX IllinoisWASHINGTON, DC (WRSP) — State Representative Lou Lang is sending a message to Illinois Senator Mark Kirk. In a press conference Monday, Lang says Kirk is not doing his job when it comes to confirming President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, ...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).


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