Michael has been one of the most significant voices in Springfield pushing for improved healthcare and services for seniors, veterans and individuals with disabilities. He serves on the Health Care Licenses and Health Care Availability Access committees in the Illinois House of Representatives. Over the years, Michael has helped pass legislation to improve access to programs and reduce burdens that often restrict folks’ ability to obtain healthcare services. Michael boldly stands in favor of bolstering Illinois’ healthcare system by providing increased cancer screenings, strengthening the Illinois Family Medical Leave Act and raising awareness of the dangers of Hepatitis C, an issue the McAuliffe family has personally faced.
Michael has been chairman of the Illinois Hepatitis C Task Force since its inception. The task force is made up of 17 appointed members from the public and private sectors. The ‘silent epidemic,’ as it has notoriously been classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is a malicious disease that the CDC estimates affects 3.5-5.3 million people in the United States. At-risk groups include baby boomers, Vietnam War veterans and injected-drug users. With the current opioid and heroin epidemic taking hold throughout Illinois communities, the work of the task force is needed now more than ever. Michael has been active to ensure testing continues to be made available and the public is informed of risk factors. Here in the 20th district, Michael’s office hosted a first-of-its-kind free Hepatitis C screening event in spring 2016. Partnering organizations from the University of Chicago, UIC, Caring Ambassadors, Presence Health, the Liver Foundation and Gilead joined Michael to provide free screenings to more than 60 residents in the area. The event will be used as a model to set up other similar screening events across Illinois.