ALTON, Ill. – Legislation sponsored by state Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Alton, that would require insurance coverage for lung and heart activity monitors for children, also known as Marlie’s Law, passed out of the Illinois House this week with bipartisan support.
“Marlie’s Law is about making sure that cost is not a deciding factor when it comes to something that could potentially save a child’s life,” said Bristow. “During my time in office, I have been committed to fighting for affordable and accessible healthcare coverage for all Illinoisans. This legislation is the result of bipartisan discussions about making sure that critical monitors for children are covered by insurance companies, and that families have peace of mind when making these important decisions.”
House Bill 3471, also known as Marlie’s Law, was brought to Bristow by Mary 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. Marlie’s family testified in a House committee in support of the legislation.
“A family should not have to base a decision that could affect the life of their child on whether they can afford the treatment, and Marlie’s Law is about making sure that a lifesaving device is accessible and affordable,” said Cope. “I am happy that legislators were able see that this bill is about saving lives and ensuring that another family does not have to suffer the same heartache that we have. We want to thank Rep. Bristow for her work in protecting the lives of children.”
“The successful passage of this legislation would not have been possible without the bravery of Marlie’s family in sharing her story, and I cannot thank them enough,” continued Bristow. “As a mother and a grandmother, I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and heartache that Marlie’s family has experienced, but pieces of legislation like this are a vital step that we can take to help ensure that no other family will have to go through that same experience.”
Marlie’s Law now heads to the Illinois Senate for consideration.