Health careCHICAGO – State Senator Willie Preston (D-Chicago) released the below statement following the governor’s signature on Illinois’ historic health care reform legislation on Wednesday, House Bill 5395 that he chief co-sponsored in the Senate:

“As a state senator representing a predominantly Black district, I am acutely aware of the unique challenges our communities face in accessing quality health care. Rooted in systemic inequities and socio-economic disparities, these barriers leave many without adequate coverage or facing unaffordable medical expenses.

“Historical mistrust and stigmas surrounding Black communities further deter many from seeking timely treatment and preventive care. To address these issues, we needed a comprehensive, inclusive, community-based approach that dismantles these barriers for Black people and all underserved communities.

“The Healthcare Protection Act is precisely designed to tackle these challenges. It prioritizes medical expertise over corporate profit motives, holding insurers accountable in adhering to standards of care.

“The Healthcare Protection Act is more than just a few policy changes — it is a lifeline for communities like mine. Illinois is taking a crucial step toward achieving health equity. Through measures like the Healthcare Protection Act, our state is addressing systemic barriers and disparities that have long plagued underserved and disinvested communities.

“We are prioritizing access to quality health care, promoting transparency and combating deceptive practices, paving the way for a more equitable health care system where every individual, regardless of their background, socioeconomic status or ZIP code has the opportunity to lead a healthier life.”