• RSS News – Lou Lang

    • Meet the legislator who brought medical marijuana to Illinois - Crain's Chicago Business March 21, 2015
      Crain's Chicago BusinessMeet the legislator who brought medical marijuana to IllinoisCrain's Chicago BusinessRep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, has championed medical marijuana in Illinois since 2009, when a group of advocates showed up at his Springfield office in wheelchairs, walkers and with IV bags to plead their case. “It tugged at my heartstrings,” say […]
    • Illinois medical marijuana czar leaving post - Chicago Sun-Times April 16, 2015
      Chicago Sun-TimesIllinois medical marijuana czar leaving postChicago Sun-TimesAnd while Rauner's administration was swift in getting the permits out to begin the growing and then selling of medical marijuana, Lang noted, “Gov. Rauner has signaled that he's not a huge fan of this program.” “Hopefully he will appoint someone who ...and more »
    • The AHL in Norfolk: 2000-2015 - The Virginian-Pilot April 17, 2015
      The Virginian-PilotThe AHL in Norfolk: 2000-2015The Virginian-PilotVirginia Beach's Lou Marconyak remembers serving spaghetti to Hampton Roads goalie Patrick Lalime the night before he signed to play for Marconyak's beloved Pittsburgh Penguins. He can remember daughter Claire baby-sitting for players' children, son ...and more »
    • Heroin forum focuses on next steps in fight against drug's use - Chicago Tribune April 11, 2015
      Chicago TribuneHeroin forum focuses on next steps in fight against drug's useChicago TribuneLou Lang, D-Skokie, was on hand Friday to offer what's next in the fight against heroin. Lang is sponsoring the state's Heroin Crisis Act, which would expand drug court programs, create the nation's first drug take-back program for pharmacies, requ […]
    • Rauner resists extending medical marijuana program for now - DeKalb Daily Chronicle April 14, 2015
      Rauner resists extending medical marijuana program for nowDeKalb Daily ChronicleLou Lang, a Skokie Democrat who sponsored the original medical marijuana legislation. Lang's bill would extend the program four years from when the first dispensary begins officially operating. The pilot program is scheduled for automatic repeal on Jan.and more »
    • LIVE MUSIC: Saturday April 18 - The Providence Journal April 17, 2015
      The Providence JournalLIVE MUSIC: Saturday April 18The Providence JournalSteve Smith and the Nakeds, rhythm and blues and rock, Skyline Lounge, Lang's Bowlarama, 225 Niantic Ave., Cranston. 944-0500, langsbowlarama.com. 9:30 pm-1 am. No cover. The Smokin' Toads, rock, Lou's Cafe, 47 Summer St., Manville. 762-9741.and more »
    • Girls track | Triton Invitational results - Post-Bulletin April 17, 2015
      Girls track | Triton Invitational resultsPost-BulletinLily Anderson (WEM) 13.43; 2. Lacey Schwartz (GMLOS) 13.94. 200 — 1. Sydney Bendtsen (GMLOS) 27.73; 2. Claire Ziller (Lou) 28.27. 400 — 1. Tess Hokansen (KW) 1:01.66; 2. Lily Anderson (WEM) 1:03.04. 800 — 1. McKenzie Kirtz (GMLOS) 2:28.24; 2 ...and more »
    • TGIF: Places to go and things to do in Northeast Pennsylvania - Scranton Times-Tribune April 17, 2015
      TGIF: Places to go and things to do in Northeast PennsylvaniaScranton Times-TribuneROCK 107 35TH BIRTHDAY BASH: with Lou Gramm, Thursday, the Woodlands, 1073 Highway 315, Wilkes-Barre. CATHEDRAL OF ST. PETER SACRED CONCERT SERIES:the Lyric Consort: Et Incarnatus Est: The Word Made Flesh , April .... KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD BAND & JONNY ...and more »
    • The Preakness, Still Shining - Press Box April 16, 2015
      Press BoxThe Preakness, Still ShiningPress BoxAs Chick Lang, the late general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club who was known as "Mr. Preakness," is credited with noting, "The thing that the Preakness has that the Kentucky Derby doesn't -- is the Derby winner." Well, at least most of time. In ...
    • Taking action against heroin - The Bugle April 15, 2015
      Taking action against heroinThe BugleLou Lang, D-Skokie, a group of Illinois lawmakers have proposed, House Bill 1, comprehensive legislative initiatives to reduce fatal and non-fatal overdose due to the growing use of heroin and opiate-based prescription pain medications. Lang has ...and more »
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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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