Rep. McAuliffe focuses on improving healthcare outcomes for women & children

Ensuring the health and safety of Illinois families has long been the hallmark of Rep. Michael McAuliffe’s tenure in the Illinois General Assembly. This session McAuliffe has introduced two bills intended to improve health outcomes for Illinois women and children.

One piece of legislation now moving through the General Assembly removes the obstacles to the implementation of newborn screenings.

Early identification of certain disorders means children will get treatment before the disease progresses and causes irreparable harm. In some instances it will even save lives. One of those disorders is Krabbe disease, a rare neurological illness that is treatable if caught soon after a baby is born but which can be deadly if not treated early. 

In 2007, Krabbe disease was added to the list of mandated newborn screenings in Illinois, but procurement policies hampered the administration of the critical tests. Since then, five children in Illinois have died of Krabbe disease.  If passed, McAuliffe’s legislation will remove the roadblocks that prevented the implementation of newborn screenings and will hopefully avert future complications and deaths. Read more about this important legislation here

Another McAuliffe healthcare measure advancing in the House is designed to ensure early detection of breast cancer for women who previously were not aware that their mammogram results were inconclusive.

We all know that early detection and treatment of cancer can mean better outcomes for patients. Many women undergo regular mammography screenings in an effort to identify breast cancer at an early stage, when it is most treatable. However, mammography does not always yield accurate results in women with dense breast tissue. In some cases women were told they had a clean mammogram only to later be diagnosed with breast cancer that could have been managed better if caught earlier.  Had they known they had dense breast tissue and the results may not have been accurate they could have pursued other testing options.

McAuliffe’s legislation will require mammography providers to notify women that they have dense breast tissue and advise them to discuss supplemental tests and imaging with their doctor to obtain more accurate results. Read more here.

These are just two of several pieces of legislation that McAuliffe has championed over the years to ensure good health outcomes for Illinoisans. We are fortunate to have him working on our behalf.