Hernandez Effort to Ensure Access to Health Care Passes House, Protections for People with Pre-existing Conditions


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As Donald Trump and his allies push for reckless changes to federal health care law, state Rep. Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez, D-Cicero, member of the Latino Caucus, is fighting to stop big insurance companies from overcharging middle-class families and to ensure that no one is denied care because of their medical history.

“Health care is a source of great anxiety for the 1.3 million Illinoisans who would lose their coverage if Trump and his allies were to force through their dangerous and irresponsible changes to federal law,” said Hernandez. “This legislation that I’m supporting will ensure that regardless of what happens in Washington, none of the residents I represent will lose access to life-saving care because of a pre-existing condition.”

Hernandez backed a series of reforms last week that will protect middle-class families by blocking insurance companies from raising premiums just to increase their corporate profits and from denying care to individuals with pre-existing conditions, regardless of changes to federal health care law.

Hernandez voted to pass House Bill 2624, which would protect middle-class families and seniors from the double-digit rate increases that many see year after year. Hernandez’s measure creates an independent Health Insurance Rate Review Board which will scrutinize proposed insurance premiums and block unjustified increases intended only to increase corporate profits at the expense of consumers.

Additionally, Hernandez passed state-level protections for people with pre-existing conditions like cancer, diabetes or heart disease. While extreme Washington politicians continue fighting to repeal federal protections for these at-risk individuals, Hernandez’s House Bill 2959 would prevent insurance companies selling policies in Illinois from discriminating against those most in need of care. The legislation passed the House with bipartisan support and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

“We need a health care system that works for patients, not for the bottom-line of big insurance companies,” Hernandez said. “If the governor is serious about improving the lives of working families, I urge him to support these efforts as they will give middle-class families much needed peace of mind and certainty when it comes to their health care.”

State Rep. Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez is a member of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus and represents the 24th District, which includes Cicero, Little Village, Berwyn, Brookfield, Riverside, and Stickney.