Equitas Health is committed to ensuring that the Ohio AIDS Coalition’s 30+ years of HIV/AIDS advocacy and policy work continues to move forward and will do so through Equitas Health’s government affairs and public policy initiatives and the work of the Equitas Health Institute.
We are dedicated to standing up for what is right for our patients, our clients, and all Ohioans, whether it is fighting to save the Affordable Care Act, advocating for HIV/AIDS funding, or educating Ohioans on issues like the deceptive Ohio Drug Price Relief Act.
12/4/2018 – Lame Duck Update and Call to Action
Pastor “Protection” Act Vote Scheduled for 12/5/2018
We testified last week in the Senate Judiciary committee against HB 36 because it unnecessarily restates existing constitutional protections for religious leaders and goes one step further by opening the door to potential discrimination against LGBTQ Ohioans. You might remember that this bill allows “religious societies” to refuse to open their facility doors to some people even if they’re otherwise open to the public to use. Such a dangerous bill doesn’t deserve to become law.
The Judiciary committee will likely vote on this bill tomorrow morning—with a potential vote by the full Senate as early as this Thursday. The lame duck legislature is trying to rush this bill because they think voters aren’t paying attention.
Patient Drug Price Disclosure Bill
On Tuesday, HB479, which Equitas Health strongly supports, will get its first hearing in the Senate. This bill will help make sure that patients—including our own—aren’t paying more than they should be for their prescription drugs at pharmacies.
This bill will help protect consumers from harmful practices by insurers and pharmacy benefit managers and will let consumers get information on the lowest cost way to get their medications. We’ll be testifying FOR the bill, but we need your help!
Six-Week Abortion Ban and Stand Your Ground
The first hearings are scheduled in the Senate next Monday and Tuesday for the six-week abortion ban (HB 258) and the stand your ground bill (HB 228), respectively. We expect the Senate to move quickly on these bills and for there to be votes on both.
Keep Up the Pressure!
Radical bills become laws during Lame Duck sessions because legislators are counting on us voters not to pay attention. Prove them wrong—call your Senators today! Let’s make sure they pass bills like HB 479, which will help lower prescription drug costs for Ohioans. And let’s make sure they don’t pass dangerous bills like HB 36 and HB 258, which strip away the rights of women and LGBTQ people, and make our communities less safe.
NOV/DEC 2018 Lame Duck Session
Thinking that things would quiet down after Election Day? Think again!
Ohio’s lawmakers are busy curtailing the rights of Ohioans during the legislature’s lame duck session.
What’s a Lame Duck?
“Lame duck” refers to an elected official who is approaching the end of their tenure and whose successor has been elected. The lame duck session occurs after Election Day and lasts for the last few weeks of the current legislative session before the new session starts next January.
The lame duck session is a popular time for current legislators to try to ram through legislation they believe will not pass in the new legislative term. Lame duck session is also a time for legislators to rush through dangerous bills for which they have the votes to override potential vetoes from outgoing Governor Kasich.
Bills we have our eye on during this session include:
- Pastor Protection Act
- Stand Your Ground
- Six-Week Abortion Ban
Please contact your legislators today! They will resume deliberations about these harmful bills the week of November 26.
It’s quite telling that the Ohio legislature is moving so quickly on these politically divisive and dangerous bills during lame duck session. Now that they’re passed the electoral deadline, legislators often think that they won’t pay a political price for bills passed in lame duck.
Look up your legislators and call them today. Let them know you’re watching—and that you’ll vote next November!
Help Keep Medicaid Strong!
Join Keep Medicaid Strong on Wednesday, November 28 in a show of support for Ohio’s Medicaid expansion, as the current legislative session winds down and Ohio prepares for Governor-Elect DeWine’s transition. Ohio’s Medicaid expansion program extended coverage to thousands of Ohioans—including many of our patients—who are living with HIV and who wouldn’t have gained insurance coverage otherwise.
Protecting this expansion program is crucial, so if you’re able, please join Keep Medicaid Strong next week at the Statehouse. The press event will take place on Wednesday, November 28 from 10AM to 11AM in the Ladies’ Gallery. Find more information and RSVP to the event here.
We are proud to join more than 250 global, national, regional, state, and local organizations on World AIDS Day 2018 calling on the federal government to officially declare our goal to end the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2025, and to enact legislative and regulatory changes to achieve this goal. Learn more.