Echols Named Finalist for National RareVoice Award
Mike Seals - October 9, 2020 10:05 am
OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, is a finalist for the national 2020 RareVoice Award for state legislators.
The RareVoice Awards are hosted by the Rare Disease Legislative Advocates (RDLA), a program of the EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases. Echols was selected as a finalist for the award because of his legislative work on rare diseases and for the disabled community.
“Government bureaucracy should never prevent people from receiving care or medicine that could relieve their pain,” Echols said. “Having family members who suffer from rare diseases opened my eyes to the numerous Oklahomans who struggle to manage their care and pain every day and made it an easy decision to run legislation that would help them achieve a higher quality of life. I’m hoping this award will bring more attention to the health care and pain management struggles many Oklahomans face every day.
In 2015, Echols authored House Bill 2154, also known as Katie and Cayman’s Law, which allowed for the use of cannabis oil for children with disabilities. Echols saw Oklahomans’ need for alternative medicine after his niece was diagnosed with epilepsy.
He cofounded the Waiting List Caucus in 2018, a bipartisan work group focusing on legislation to annualize funding for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers, of which more than 7,600 Oklahomans were awaiting with an average wait of more than 12 years.
In 2019, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed Echols’ House Bill 2632, which protects patient access to pharmacy services, minimizes pharmacy benefit managers’ conflicts of interests, and prohibits retroactive claim adjustments and denials.
Echols is a lifelong resident of Oklahoma City and a small business owner. He has represented House District 90 since 2012 and currently serves as the House majority floor leader.
RDLA supports the advocacy of all rare disease patients and organizations and is committed to growing the patient advocacy community by amplifying patients to be heard by local, state and federal policy makers.
The awardee for each category will be named in a virtual ceremony Dec. 10. For more information, visit www.rareadvocates.org/rarevoice-awards/.