• RSS News – Lou Lang

    • Illinois lawmakers pass controversial abortion bill - WSIL TV April 25, 2017
      WSIL TVIllinois lawmakers pass controversial abortion billWSIL TVDemocratic Representative Lou Lang spoke out as well, saying, "We have a responsibility to protect all citizens of the state of Illinois. Not just the insured. Not just the rich, but all people of the state of Illinois. Women, in case you didn't know ...Hundreds Gather at the Statehou […]
    • Representative Lou Lang: I would consider services being taxed to clean up this mess we're in - WGN Radio March 14, 2017
      WGN RadioRepresentative Lou Lang: I would consider services being taxed to clean up this mess we're inWGN RadioIllinois Representative Lou Lang gives John his own opinion of the proposed service tax, and explains why $25 million is called upon in a new bill to protect religious community centers. Audio Player.The Yorick Project - Hackster.ioHackster.ioM […]
    • In suburbs, heroin and opioid epidemic moving 'faster than we can deal with it' - Suburban Life Publications April 21, 2017
      Suburban Life PublicationsIn suburbs, heroin and opioid epidemic moving 'faster than we can deal with it'Suburban Life PublicationsLou Lang, D-Skokie, sponsor of the landmark Heroin Crisis Act, said the legislation that became law in 2015 was only the “beginning of a long road.” Few were talking about fentanyl in the early stages of the legislation […]
    • Bill Pushes School Transparency - WLS April 8, 2017
      WLSBill Pushes School TransparencyWLS“Over the years, the legislature has approved school district debt limit exemptions that have not been backed by voters through referenda or have not disclosed critical financial information about bond debt issuances,” said State. Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie).
    • Follow that Bill - LaSalle News Tribune April 8, 2017
      Follow that BillLaSalle News TribuneS. 641 and H.R. 1569 — The American Innovation Act would provide for an annual funding increase of 5 percent at five key federal research agencies. S. 641 filed March 15, 2017, by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). H.R. 1569 filed March 16, 2017, by U.S ...
    • New performing arts center at Richards moves forward - Reporter Online April 20, 2017
      New performing arts center at Richards moves forwardReporter OnlineLou Lang (D-16th), would require three-point seat belts on school buses in Illinois. The bill passed the House Transportation Vehicles and Safety Committee and now moves to the full House of Representatives. “Hopefully it will get moving along, maybe ...
    • The Pulse of Springfield: Representatives Feigenholtz and Kifowit and Leader Lou Lang on Michael Madigan - WGN Radio January 12, 2017
      WGN RadioThe Pulse of Springfield: Representatives Feigenholtz and Kifowit and Leader Lou Lang on Michael MadiganWGN RadioPatti talked to Illinois State Representative Sara Feigenholtz about her nomination of Mike Madigan for his 17th term as Speaker of the House. Then, State Representative Stephanie Kifowit joined the conversation to reflect on the remarks […]
    • Illinois at center of revived Equal Rights Amendment fight - Chicago Sun-Times April 3, 2017
      Chicago Sun-TimesIllinois at center of revived Equal Rights Amendment fightChicago Sun-TimesLou Lang, a Democrat from Skokie, to set a date to move the proposal forward. In 2014, the measure passed the Illinois Senate by 39 votes to 11, but was not put to a vote in the House, where there was not sufficient support. Even if the ERA does not ...
    • SALMAGUNDI: Governments evaluating drug laws - in both directions - MyWebTimes.com April 10, 2017
      MyWebTimes.comSALMAGUNDI: Governments evaluating drug laws - in both directionsMyWebTimes.comDrug laws might be changing in Illinois and nationwide, but perhaps in opposite directions.and more »
    • On state tour, Rauner reiterates his agenda as Democrats line up to unseat him - Chicago Tribune April 15, 2017
      Chicago TribuneOn state tour, Rauner reiterates his agenda as Democrats line up to unseat himChicago TribuneLou Lang countered that the "southern twang (Rauner) uses doesn't travel very far anymore. I think people are seeing through that." Lang, a top deputy to Rauner nemesis House Speaker Michael Madigan, suggested Rauner felt pressure becaus […]
  • 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).