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Monday, March 30, 2020

Legislation from McClure addresses health care, overtime and Air Force veterans

Local Government

By Sarah Downey | Mar 3, 2020

Sen. Steve McClure

New legislation proposed by state Sen. Steve McClure (R-Springfield) includes bills for veterans, tax-free overtime wages and reduction of medical delays.

“Senate Bill 2518 creates the Air Force Combat Action Medal license plate and allows the Secretary of State to issue them to eligible drivers,” states a news release from McClure’s office. “The new plate would join numerous others created to recognize military service and awards, including the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Navy Service Cross, among others. The existing Combat Action Badge plate is offered for Army recipients of that medal, which is very similar to the Air Force’s Combat Action Medal."

Illinois residents who work overtime would find some tax relief under Senate Bill 3695; a separate news release explains that it, “would create a deduction on any overtime wages earned in Illinois.”

“The state income tax on overtime wages would still be withheld from an individual’s paycheck; however, when that person goes to file their taxes for that year, they would receive a deduction equal to the amount of taxes paid on overtime wages …. [I]t’s the least that can be done for hard-working Illinoisans who already face high tax burdens.”

Another measure filed by McClure introduces reforms to reduce delays in medical care.

“Illinois patients often have medical care delayed or denied because of their health plans' use of a process called prior authorization,” according to a news release from McClure’s office. “Senate Bill 3822, also known as the Prior Authorization Reform Act, is a bipartisan solution that supporters say will bring much-needed transparency and streamlining to prior authorization requirements.”

Health insurers often use prior authorization to cut costs, leading health professionals to perform excessive paperwork before recommended patient care is approved, according to the release.

“Even when authorization is granted, too often insurance companies later deny payment for medical care they approved …. The Prior Authorization Reform Act would make sure prior authorization requirements are based on medical evidence and administered by qualified individuals,” the release states.

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Illinois State Senator Steve McClure

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