State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) today announced the induction of Dr. Renee Powell and her father, the late William Powell in the 2018 Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame. The two will be officially inducted at the Tenth Annual Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame Ceremony on Thursday, October 4 at 10:00 am in the Ohio Statehouse Atrium in Columbus.
“Dr. Renee Powell and her father William Powell are two incredible individuals who have used their gifts and talents to give back to those around them,” said West. “I am so proud and happy that they are being recognized for their contribution to the advancement of civil rights in our state. They have been an integral part of Ohio’s history, showing courage and excelling in the face of adversity.”
State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) responded to today’s Ohio Department of Medicaid decision to fire the state’s pharmacy middlemen after reading an advance copy of Auditor Dave Yost’s report on the deceptive healthcare pricing scheme that cost Ohio taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Yost’s report is expected to be made publicly available tomorrow.
“Today’s decision to fire cheating big-pharma middlemen is proof positive of what many of us have been saying all along: big healthcare corporations have been ripping off Ohio consumers by hundreds of millions of dollars to line their own pockets and boost their own bottom line,” said West. “This decision is a win for consumers and small independent pharmacies alike, but we shouldn’t wait until January 1 to stop this rip off.”
State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) today announced Ohio’s back-to-school sales tax-free holiday scheduled for this weekend, August 3-5, as a result of the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 226. The annual event helps lessen the sting of the 4.5 percent statewide sales tax hike passed by Republican lawmakers in the 2013 state budget. The hike has cost taxpayers almost $2 billion more since then, according to state revenue numbers.
“This annual holiday gives families a well-earned break on back to school items, year after year,” said West. “People work hard to provide for their children, and paying hiked up prices for school essentials isn’t something people should have to worry about.”
State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) today responded to reports that a number of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) have been charging Ohio taxpayers three to six times as much as the industry standard to process prescription drugs for Ohio Medicaid recipients. For prescriptions that should cost between 95 cents and $1.90, PBMs CVS Caremark and Optum Rx have been charging Ohio taxpayers $5.60 and $6.50 per script, respectively.
State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) today announced the unanimous House passage of House Bill (HB) 479, the Prescription Drug Co-Pay Integrity Act, his bipartisan legislation that would save consumers money by prohibiting gag rules that prevent pharmacists from informing consumers when they are overpaying for prescription drugs.
State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) today released a statement recognizing the importance of the National Football Hall of Fame and the hard work Cantonians put into making induction day special for all who attend. The lawmaker’s statement comes as former wide receiver Terrell Owens publicly announced he won’t come to Canton this year to be honored as an inductee.
“Since 1963, the induction ceremony has been conducted with a level of excellence unsurpassed by any other in the world. We have the people of Canton to thank for that because the game of football and the Hall of Fame resides deep within the heart of every Cantonian. Our community and district go all out for football, and we are honored by the heroes who choose to attend the induction ceremony.”
The induction ceremony is a tradition used to honor and enshrine heroes of the gridiron. Every year, thousands of Canton citizens come together as volunteers to make the event that honors world-class athletes possible. Thousand, including many from all across the world, will gather in Canton this year for enshrinement day.
State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) today announced he will be reaching out to Ohio Department of Medicaid Director Barbara Sears to push for a six-month extension of Phase I of the department’s Behavioral Health Redesign. According to a recent survey by the Ohio Council for Behavioral Health and Family Service Providers, more than 60 percent of providers received less than 80 percent of their expected Medicaid revenues since the implementation of the plan in January 2018. This has forced a number of healthcare providers to lay off employees, eliminate services and deny patient claims.
“Logistical issues during the rollout of the redesign plan have wreaked havoc on our healthcare providers, threatening care and forcing many to eliminate staff and essential services. This is especially troublesome at a time when we continue to battle our worst-in-the-nation opioid crisis,” said West. “Extending Phase I by six months will allow us to iron out the issues and refocus our efforts on what truly matters—delivering quality, affordable healthcare to Ohio families.”
State Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Thomas West (D-Canton) today introduced a joint resolution to establish universal preschool in Ohio. The proposal would amend the Ohio Constitution to require free, universal preschool for all four and five-year-olds who reside in the Buckeye State.
State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) today applauded the Ohio Department of Insurance’s order to prohibit Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM) from imposing gag rules to prevent pharmacists from informing consumers when they are overpaying for prescription drugs.
“I applaud the Department of Insurance’s decision to put hard-earned money back in the hands of consumers by prohibiting PBM gag orders on local pharmacists that effectively jack up the price of prescription drugs,” said Rep. West. “While we welcome this long overdue order, we must take the next step and pass HB 479 to ensure that Ohio consumers are protected under the law and not simply at the whim of whomever controls the governor’s office.”
West recently introduced House Bill (HB) 479, a bipartisan plan that would strengthen consumer protections and work to reduce the cost of prescription drugs in the Buckeye State.
Lawmakers referred HB 479 to the House Government and Oversight Committee, where it has received one hearing.
State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) today announced his intention to introduce a comprehensive set of legislation to curb gun violence in Ohio. This announcement comes on the heels of nationwide outcry on the issue of gun safety following a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The set of legislation would implement a 72-hour waiting period, raise the minimum purchasing age for purchasing assault-style rifles to 21 and close the Charleston Loophole that allows felons to purchase weapons if their background check does not process after 72 hours.