Four Pillars HCHS Signed FBSPRINGFIELD – After nearly a year of advocating for health care reform, State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) is excited that the massive health care reform bill she supported is finally becoming law.

“The Black community has experienced so much premature death at the hands of systemic racism,” Van Pelt said. “While this legislation won’t solve everything with the sign of a pen, I am confident that the measures in this bill will right the wrongs in our state healthcare system, giving Illinoisans of color increased opportunity to attain emotional and physical wellness.”

House Bill 158 – which was signed into law Tuesday by Governor JB Pritzker – aims to provide all Illinoisans with better access to health care, halt hospital closures, reform managed care organization, expand community health worker certification and reimbursement, prevent maternal and infant mortality, increase access to mental health and substance abuse treatment, reform hospitals, and end medical implicit bias.

Some of the major provisions of this legislation include expanding Medicaid to cover community health worker services and perinatal doula and home-visiting services.

“Black women in Illinois are six times more likely to die from childbirth. This is one example of unnecessary death caused by racial disparities.” Van Pelt said. “Too many Black and Brown people are dying simple because they don’t have access to quality affordable care. Other times, people are dying because their doctors hold a bias that prevents them from being cared for properly. Both of these scenarios are unacceptable, and I am hopeful these measures will change that.”

The bill also includes several actions on racial justice, including creating an Anti-Racism Commission, as well as updating health care professional trainings to include implicit bias training in order to renew a license or registration.

The provisions in this bill are effective immediately.

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1016 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607 
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