Illinois Lawmakers Pass Sweeping Healthcare Bill Addressing Racial Health Inequities

Lung Association applauds Black Caucus, Illinois General Assembly

Today, the Illinois General Assembly passed a sweeping healthcare bill, HB158, that addresses a range of healthcare issues, including improving asthma care and addressing racial health inequities.  

HB 158 is the fourth and final legislative pillar of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (ILBC)’s agenda. The bill cites a study on asthma care among Black adolescents that concludes that asthma control was reduced by 35% among those who worked with community health workers, resulting in a savings of $5.58 per dollar spent on the intervention.

The American Lung Association’s applauds the inclusion of the following components of HB 158:  

  1. Coverage of Community Health Worker services under the medical assistance program, which includes Medicaid;
  2. Required implicit bias awareness trainings for health care professionals seeking new or renewed licenses after January 1, 2022;
  3. Increased access to primary care in hospitals by encouraging care coordination between Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and hospitals with a focus on managing chronic diseases and addressing social determinants of health;
  4. Delivery of a State Health Assessment to the Governor on reducing health disparities and inequities and promoting health equity; and
  5. Creation of the Anti-Racism Commission to identify ways for the state to eliminate systemic racism.

The Lung Association supports investments and policies that eliminate health disparities caused by systemic racism and build health equity across all policy areas. On behalf of the 1.5 million Illinois residents with lung disease, we thank Senator Mattie Hunter, Representative Camille Lilly and members of the ILBC for championing these values within HB 158.  

For more information, contact:

James A. Martinez
(312) 445-2501
[email protected]

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