SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – Legislation introduced by state Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Alton, to help protect children who require heart and lung monitoring passed out of the Insurance Committee on Tuesday with bipartisan support. Marlie’s Law would provide parents of children with cardiopulmonary problems the opportunity to protect their children from potentially fatal complications by requiring insurance coverage for crucial health monitors.

“There is no reason that insurance companies should ever deny a critical piece of equipment or tool that could help save a child’s life because it is too expensive, or because they have a pre-existing condition,” said Bristow. “I have been committed to fighting for affordable and accessible healthcare coverage during my time in Springfield, and I will continue to pass legislation that can help save lives. I was honored to have Mary Cope join me today to talk about Marlie’s Bill to members of the Insurance Committee, and I want to thank her for her bravery while sharing her family’s story.”

Marlie’s Law would require insurance companies to provide the necessary coverage on cardiopulmonary monitors for a person 18 years old or younger who have had a cardiopulmonary event and remains at a higher risk for another.

The legislation was brought to Bristow by Cope, a Wood River resident. Her granddaughter, Marlie, who was only a couple months old, had a prior episode of apnea in 2016 where she stopped breathing. After suffering from the episode that resulted in her being revived by a first responder, she was taken to the hospital. The family requested a monitor, but were told that the cost was too high. Shortly after, Marlie had another apnea episode where she stopped breathing. Her mother was unable to find her in time and she could not be revived. The legislation is named Marlie’s Law in her memory.

“Testifying to the importance of this legislation in Springfield is a step in the right direction, and I hope all lawmakers are able to see that this bill is about saving lives and ensuring that another family does not have to suffer the same heartache that we have,” Cope said. “I want to thank Rep. Bristow and members of the committee for allowing me to share my family and Marlie’s story in committee on Tuesday.”

Rep Monica BristowRep Monica Bristow

111th District

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