Children diagnosed with cancer would have greater access to diagnostic testing under the first bill passed through the Illinois House of Representatives by freshmen State Representative Seth Lewis (R-Bartlett).
House Bill 2109 amends the Illinois Insurance Code to require coverage for comprehensive cancer testing and testing of blood or constitutional tissues for cancer predisposition testing. This legislation would achieve Lewis’s goal of making sure that children diagnosed with cancer can be approved for comprehensive cancer testing.
“It is an honor to be standing here today, looking at all of you here in this body. When I ran for office, I said my goal is to help people and to work together,” said Lewis, presenting his bill on the House Floor. “This bill is about helping kids with cancer, a goal I know we can all get behind.”
Cal’s law is named in honor of Cal Sutter; a South Elgin Little League All-Star diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in 2005. While Cal tragically lost his battle with cancer in 2006, his courage and the concern for other cancer patients he displayed inspired the establishment of Cal’s Angels, a charity focused on supporting kids with cancer and their families, promoting cancer awareness, and funding research.
“Cal’s life was all too short, but thanks to the efforts of many, his legacy will live on. This bill would be vital for the many families fighting pediatric cancer in Illinois,” said Cal’s Angels Board Chairman Ryan Phillips. “Thank you to Representative Lewis for taking up this important work and fighting for kids with cancer.”
Cal’s law is the result of bipartisan coordination between legislative leaders and members of the freshmen class of the 102nd General Assembly. Its chief co-sponsors include both House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and Speaker of the House Chris Welch, in addition to a long, bipartisan list of co-sponsors.
“In February, our freshmen class began working together to identify initiatives that we could pass with bipartisan support. This legislation was one of the priorities that we identified early on,” said Lewis. “I’m proud to have not just the ‘yes’ votes of the freshmen class on this bill, but also to have so many of them signed on as co-sponsors. This is a great example of what we can do when we put aside political affiliation and work together to accomplish meaningful goals. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass this bill.”
House Bill 2109 passed the Illinois House of Representatives on a unanimous roll call and now heads to the Senate for consideration. You can follow the status of the legislation by clicking on this link.