UPDATED: In Case You Missed It: OAMF President Describes Outrageous Stall Tactics on Crucial Medical Freedom Legislation

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UPDATE from OAMF President Stephanie Stock: “Thank you to everyone who participated in the Call 2 Action on Chairman Steve Huffman and the Senate Health Committee! We have received notification from Representative Gross that Senator Huffman informed her that she could tell the medical freedom people he will no longer have a Sub Bill on 73. Thank you Chairman Huffman for respecting the heartfelt requests of the people!”

“Please continue to send letters to the Senate Health Committee Members as well as your own Senator, and let them know you support HB 73 (-6) version and you would like them to vote YES on this legislation! Include a short description of any denial of treatment you or your family experienced and if you lost a loved one due to lack of treatment options beyond “standard of care” hospital protocols.”

On April 22nd, Stephanie Stock, President of Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom, and Dr. Richard Bartlett, joined Bob Frantz’s “Always Right Radio” to express their extreme frustration with stall tactics being employed to keep House Bill 73 from advancing in the Senate. Ms. Stock described the purpose of the bill, also known as the Dave and Angie Patient and Health Provider Protection Act:

“This bill will provide for the fact that doctors can submit a prescription for any drug for any off label use for their patient so long as that drug is legal in the state of Ohio, is not a controlled substance, and if it is considered…one of the really highly toxic drugs…that they follow the current federal regulations for those drugs. This bill will require the pharmacist to fill those prescriptions unless they have a religious objection, which is already part of state law, or if there is a life-threatening contraindication… The pharmacist cannot decline to fill something that the doctor is prescribing and the patient has informed consent to.” [5:58]

The bill, introduced in the Senate by Representatives Jennifer Gross (R-45) and Mike Loychik (R-65), was originally assigned to the House Health Provider Services Committee in February of last year. After five hearings in which proponents and opponents (most of them from the hospital and pharmacy industry) testified, the Health Provider Services Committee passed the bill with a vote of 8 to 4. The bill was then brought up for a vote in the full House and passed there as well, 75 to 16.

Given the success of the bill in the House, proponents were hopeful for swift passage through the Senate, where it was introduced in September of 2023 and assigned to the Senate Health Committee. Then the frustration began. Senator Steve Huffman (R-05), Chair of the Senate Health Committee, has stalled the bill by not scheduling it for hearings. He also submitted a lenghty list of accommodations he wanted in the bill, many of which, Stock explains, were not germane to the bill. According to Ms. Stock, efforts to enact Senator Huffman’s requests were rejected and Senator Huffman has now decided to rewrite the bill himself. Speaking with Frantz, Stock added,

“So he’s taking the people’s legislation, which we have run through with all of these ‘interested parties’ which we both know, Bob, is all of the opposition. It’s the hospital systems and the pharmacy associates and the medical boards. There were literally like 25 lobbyists in the room with us during the ‘interested party’ meeting. They all want this bill dead because it interferes with their kickbacks from the federal government for COVID and for whatever their next pandemic is and they don’t want doctors to be able to control what happens with their patients.” [7:50]

Dr. Richard Bartlett described why patients need the protection of House Bill 73, and how other medical freedom bills at the federal and state levels leave gaps that lead to deadly outcomes for patients. He used the example of pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for Budesonide for COVID treatment, despite its high safely rating, effectiveness, and inexpensive cost. He, too, is frustrated and alarmed by the stall tactics being employed by Senator Steven Huffman, Chair of the Senate Health Committee:

“[House Bill 73] passed overwhelmingly through the House of Representatives, representing the people of Ohio, to have a right to treat a deadly disease that’s still in the news called COVID with an inexpensive, safe medicine [Budesonide] that’s been out for over 30 years. It’s generic, nobody’s going to make any money off of it, it’s so cheap but it works. The problem is, the Right to Try laws don’t protect you, so that’s why we need House Bill 73. There is one man blocking this, Senator Steve Huffman, who had this bill passed by the House in September. He’s supposed to schedule it for the Senate to discuss it, debate it, vote on it yes or no, but he is holding it up. He’s not scheduling it on purpose.” [10:38]

The interview contained a great deal of other information on the legislative process for this bill and possible paths it might take, along with discussions of the motivations behind stalling the bill and misinformation being employed to defeat it. To hear more, please listen to the interview here.

Ms. Stock asks citizens to contact all the members of the Senate Health Committee and tell them the people want Representative Gross’s CURRENT VERSION of the bill adopted and NOT Senator Huffman’s version. Ohio lawmakers close to Fortify Geauga have suggested citizens should communicate IN WRITING, as letters and emails become part of the public record. This chart contains contact information for all the members of the Senate Health Committee, including quick links to email forms for each Senator. It takes only a few minutes to send a quick message to each Senator on the list. And be sure to visit the OAMF’s website to sign up for updates and calls to action on this and other important legislation.

See Also: In-depth treatment of this issue in Jon Fleetwood’s excellent Substack article, Do Hospital Profits or ‘We The People’ Run Ohio’s Legislature? Medical Freedom Bill Delayed by Healthcare Industry-Funded Senate Chair

2 Responses

  1. 04/24/2024

    […] Listen: Local conservative radio host Bob Frantz interviewed Stephanie Stock, President of Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom, and Dr. Richard Bartlett about frustrating tactics in the Ohio Senate  Health Committee to derail crucial medical freedom legislation (House Bill 73).  Find out all about it and how you can help:  In Case You Missed It:  OAMF President Describes Outrageous Stall Tactics on Crucial Medical Fr… […]

  2. 05/09/2024

    […] On April 22nd, Stephanie Stock, President of Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom, and Dr. Richard Bartlett, joined Bob Frantz’s “Always Right Radio” to express their extreme frustration with stall tactics being employed to keep House Bill 73 from advancing in the Senate…Read More […]

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