SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Mary Flowers, D-Chicago, is leading efforts to improve access to quality, affordable health care in Illinois by passing legislation to explore options to reduce health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated longstanding racial and ethnic disparities that permeate our health care system,” said Flowers. “We know that Black women are dying at disproportionate rates during and after childbirth, racial bias affects assessment and treatment of pain, and the high costs of health care prevent many sick people from seeing a doctor at all. We must do better to make sure patients have proper health care access, which begins with holding insurance companies accountable for their greedy ways.”
Flowers sponsored Senate Bill 1864, which directs state agencies responsible for regulating insurance and health care to conduct a feasibility study and make recommendations to make health care more affordable. The measure arose from discussions initiated by the Access to Health Care House working group, which Flowers co-chairs.
“With record-high levels of unemployment, more people are finding themselves uninsured, not to mention the millions who were underinsured and struggling to afford coverage before the pandemic hit,” said Flowers. “While not a fix-all solution to the issue of health care affordability, I am hopeful this law will bring some improvements to coverage and access to prevent needless deaths and ensure more people receive quality care.”
Senate Bill 1864 was signed into law and took effect on July 7.