SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — State Rep. Dagmara “Dee” Avelar, D-Bolingbrook, passed legislation to expand access to affordable health care and defend reproductive freedoms in Illinois.
“Health care is a human right that everyone deserves, regardless of identity, status, or financial circumstances. As a state representative, my top priority will always be the wellbeing of our community, and health care plays an essential role in upholding that responsibility,” Avelar said. “From defending reproductive freedom to preventing crushing medical debt, I will continue to protect and expand access to health care so that all Illinoisans can live healthy lives.”
To help prevent medical debt, Avelar led the passage of House Bill 2719, which requires hospitals to proactively screen uninsured patients for eligibility for public health insurance programs and any financial assistance offered by the hospital. Given that medical debt disproportionately impacts low-income immigrants and Black communities, the bill helps connect Illinois’ most vulnerable people to the care they need.
In concert with the significant investment in reproductive health initiatives included in the Avelar-backed fiscal year 2024 budget, Avelar passed a package of legislation that makes Illinois a leader in reproductive health care in the Midwest and across the nation. The package cracks down on deceptive practices used by anti-choice groups, makes reproductive health medication more accessible and affordable, protects patients from out-of-state investigations, and expands access to emergency contraception.
“A budget is a representation of our values, which is why I am proud to support the full funding of reproductive health care initiatives included in this year’s budget. Extremists in other states are working hard to strip individuals of their reproductive rights, so Illinois must work just as hard to defend these freedoms,” Avelar said. “We’ve made tremendous strides in health care access broadly, and reproductive health care access specifically, but more work remains. I am eager to continue our efforts to expand and protect access to affordable care in all sense, until all Illnoisans can access the care they need.”
For more information on Avelar’s legislation, please visit www.ilga.gov.