• RSS News – Lou Lang

    • Veto Session Toll: Rauner - 36, Legislators - 1 - WSIU December 2, 2016
      WSIUVeto Session Toll: Rauner - 36, Legislators - 1WSIURauner just Thursday suddenly vetoed the CPS bill, so the House technically has 15 days to reverse him and make it law. Instead, Rep. Lou Lang announced just before 7 p.m. that evening "the House stands adjourned til Jan. 9, at the hour of twelve noon.Rauner's demands test the limits of reasonC […]
    • Rauner's stopgap budget demands: term limits, property tax freeze - Chicago Sun-Times November 30, 2016
      Chicago Sun-TimesRauner's stopgap budget demands: term limits, property tax freezeChicago Sun-TimesLou Lang, D- Skokie, one of Madigan's top deputies, called the meeting “cohesive, confident, congenial.” But Republicans cite a failed attempt to override Rauner's veto of the automatic voter registration bill this week as proof that Madigan […]
    • School bus safety inconsistent in Chicago and suburbs - WLS-TV November 22, 2016
      WLS-TVSchool bus safety inconsistent in Chicago and suburbsWLS-TVLou Lang (D-Skokie) pushed unsuccessfully for seat belt legislation in Illinois years ago, but it went nowhere due to the cost. Lang said the deadly Tennessee crash may renew interest in seat belt legislation. NHTSA believes that seat belts would ...and more »
    • Lawmakers move to block OT restrictions for home care workers - Bloomington Pantagraph November 22, 2016
      Bloomington PantagraphLawmakers move to block OT restrictions for home care workersBloomington PantagraphIn this May 11, 2016, file photo, home health care workers and people with disabilities who oppose changes in overtime rules for home health care workers protest during the Interagency Committee on Employees with Disabilities Awards ceremony at the ...and […]
    • GOP breaks Democrats' supermajority in Illinois House - The State Journal-Register November 9, 2016
      The State Journal-RegisterGOP breaks Democrats' supermajority in Illinois HouseThe State Journal-RegisterLou Lang, one of the Democrats' House leaders, said it's up to Rauner to drop his demands. In addition to asking for legislation that favors businesses, Rauner has insisted that Democrats consider term limits and change the way legislative […]
    • Lawless Border: Obama Admin Abruptly Grounds Drones - LifeZette November 23, 2016
      Lawless Border: Obama Admin Abruptly Grounds DronesLifeZetteThree top Texas government officials, including one Democrat, are questioning the Department of Homeland Security's border security measures after a report showed the agency ended an aerial surveillance program on the Mexican border. Operation ...and more »
    • Election over, it's time for Illinois Democrats to clock in - Crain's Chicago Business November 11, 2016
      Crain's Chicago BusinessElection over, it's time for Illinois Democrats to clock inCrain's Chicago BusinessLou Lang, a top deputy to Madigan, said Wednesday that Illinois may go four full years without a budget. That is not acceptable—and voters will take it out on the Democrats again in 2018 if it proves to be true. Smart Democrats will come […]
    • DNC diary: Rep. Lou Lang on - Reboot Illinois July 28, 2016
      Reboot IllinoisDNC diary: Rep. Lou Lang onReboot IllinoisThe Democratic National Convention got off to a rocky start this week after leaked emails showed DNC staff favored Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign over Sen. Bernie Sanders. While the revelations have led to the ouster of DNC Chair Debbie ...
    • IL-Uncontested - seattlepi.com - seattlepi.com November 9, 2016
      IL-Uncontested - seattlepi.comseattlepi.comState Senate - District 1Tony Munoz (i), Dem State Senate - District 2Omar Aquino (i), Dem State Senate - District 4Kimberly Lightford (i), Dem State Senate ...and more »
    • Auriemma Not Sure Which UConn Team Will Show Up For Texas Game - Hartford Courant December 3, 2016
      Hartford CourantAuriemma Not Sure Which UConn Team Will Show Up For Texas GameHartford CourantKatie Lou Samuelson has proved she is more than just a three-pointer shooter, and Gabby Williams can impact the game from all over the court. More encouraging signs: UConn has displayed flashes of brilliance, notably during the first quarter against ...Top 25 Capsul […]
  • 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).