SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – This session, state Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, fought to provide crucial COVID-19 relief to Illinois residents, worked to increase accessibility to affordable healthcare and helped pass a responsible budget that protects our most vulnerable as we begin to move forward from the pandemic.
“My top priority this session was to ensure families and businesses received crucial COVID-19 relief needed to get back on their feet,” said Hernandez. “First and foremost, we had to pass a responsible, balanced budget that lives within our means and ensures funding for critical services that will move Illinois forward, such as education and job training, health care and mental health services, and senior care.”
Hernandez supported several measures that came to fruition because of the pandemic. Ensuring individuals do not get penalized or avoid COVID testing because of testing costs, Hernandez supported House Bill 3703, which prohibits health care professionals from contacting collection agencies to collect unpaid debt for a patient’s COVID-19 testing medical bills. She also supported legislation to help families stay in their homes, sponsoring House Bill 2877, which pauses foreclosures, expands access to emergency rental assistance and provides protection and relief to those hit hardest by the pandemic.
“Health care is a human right, and we must remove barriers that make it less accessible,” said Hernandez. “The well-being of our community is my top priority, and I will continue supporting measures that expand access to quality and affordable health care to all Illinoisans.”
Committed to expanding access to health care, Hernandez backed House Bill 1745 to cap out-of-pocket drug costs for consumers, giving Illinois patients better access to their medications against soaring copays. She sponsored House Bill 3155 to ensure that all Illinois residents can receive proper medical care during a public health emergency, regardless of race, sex, gender, location, age or any other personal factor. Additionally, she led the fight on ending period poverty, having sponsored several measures that will increase access to menstrual hygiene products for students, individuals in homeless shelters and recipients of public benefits.
“Now more than ever we need to provide much-needed relief to families heavily impacted by the pandemic,” said Hernandez. “While we have made significant progress, there is still more work to be done to build a stronger Illinois and we must continue to invest in healthcare, education and job creation as we emerge from this pandemic.”