While in the Senate, Bice introduced legislation related to women and infant health, mental health and addiction and senior health. She also sponsored legislation to end surprise medical billing and ensure insurance networks are adequate in providing their beneficiaries access to qualified health providers and specialists in network.
Oklahoma State Senator (22nd district), 2014-2021—Assistant Majority Leader
2020 ELECTION CONTEXT
Bice received the most votes in the first 2020 Republican primary, but it was not a clear majority. She defeated Republican Mark Thomas in the runoff and went on to beat incumbent Democrat Kendra Horn in the general election.
Kendra Horn (D), defeated in re-election bid
MOST RECENT PROFESSION
Oklahoma State Senator (22nd district); VP of Business Development, Smirk New Media (marketing firm)
Bice worked in business strategy and financial oversight or her family’s technology company out of college. She later helped lead a boutique digital marketing agency in Oklahoma City as vice president of business development. Bice was first elected in 2014 to be a State Senator and was reelected in 2018. While serving in the State Senate, Bice sat on the Appropriations, General Government and Transportation, Business, Commerce, Tourism and Public Safety Committees. Bice also served as Assistant Majority Floor Leader for two years and chaired the Finance Committee during her time as a Senator.
On The Issues
Bice has stated that, "Suggesting a national mask mandate will fix this pandemic is just flat wrong. What will address the long term implications is operation warp speed, which is creating a safe, effective vaccine for us to distribute across America."
Bice believes the ACA is a disaster and believes it should be repealed if preexisting conditions can be protected. She supports expanding health savings account access and allowing health insurance be purchased across state lines and allowing small businesses to pool together to provide health coverage to employees. She wants families to have more choice and control of their health care, noting that it should be patient-centered affordable and high quality. While in the Senate, she authored an unsuccessful bill that would "protect consumers from unforeseen medical bills as a result of using out-of-network physicans" and put into place "new network adequacy requirements."
When asked about her potential support for the MORE Act in October 2020, a Bice campaign spokeswoman stated, "The MORE Act was filed more than a year ago and has never received a hearing, so I’m not sure that it will pass...I do have some concerns with the bill, but Congress should be more focused on trying to pass the next federal relief package.” While a state senator, Bice voted in favor of HB 3228, which "would have allowed for some delivery services between dispensaries and patients, granted 90-day licenses that are renewable and would have allowed certain dispensaries to remain open even if they later fell within 1,000 feet of a school. It also addressed residency issues with growers and dispensary owners." Bice also voted in favor of HB 2612, a bill which was signed into law and "provide[d] an extensive medical marijuana regulatory framework."
MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION
Bice wants to find alternative ways to hold nonviolent offenders accountable other than incarceration, saying, "It’s a reform that will save millions of dollars that can be used to address the need for greater substance abuse treatment and access to mental health care."
While a state senator, Bice voted in favor of SB 1606, a piece of legislation that "requires peace officers utilize telemedicine when such capability is available for initial contact, to have a person requiring treatment assessed by a licensed mental health professional employed or under contract with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services," and "establishes that once an individual has been presented to a treatment facility by a transporting law enforcement officer or has self-presented, the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services shall be responsible for any subsequent transportation pending completion of the examination, emergency detention, protective custody, or inpatient services."
Bice was the leading sponsor of a successful bill that requires hospitals that provide labor and delivery services and licensed health care professionals that provide pre- and post-natal care to women and infants to provide education to women and, if possible, their families, about perinatal mental health disorders.
Bice has stated that as a member of Congress she "will work to find way to address sky-high prescription drug costs, especially life-savings drugs like insulin and Epi-pens."
VETERANS HEALTH CARE
Bice has stated that, "Those who have served our country deserve access to quality health care, education and every economic opportunity," and that she will "fight for accountability and transparency for the VA."
Bice is pro-life, with her campaign website stating, "In the Oklahoma State Senate, she has supported pro-life policies and advocated against those that promote abortion."
OTHER HEALTH CARE ISSUES
Bice's campaign has stated that, "In Congress, Stephanie has stated her priorities will include lowering out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs, ending surprise medical bills, increasing health insurance plan options, and encouraging innovation that can lead to life-saving cures and treatments." She is not in favor of expanding Medicaid in Oklahoma.
While in the Oklahoma Senate, Bice sponsored SB 2804, which requires all students in kindergarten through third grade who are not reading at grade level to be tested for dyslexia. She sponsored a successful bill that would require informed consent for nursing home patients and their families regarding the use of powerful antipsychotic drugs. She was named AARP legislator of the year. Bice was also the original sponsor of a law that requires each hospital notify at least one parent of their rights and allow parents to direct the disposition of the remains of a child from stillbirth or fetal death so long as it complies with all relevant state a federal rules and regulations.
DID YOU KNOW?
Bice’s father was an Iranian immigrant. Bice gained her reputation as a legislative leader as the writer and champion of State Question 792, which modernized liquor laws in Oklahoma to make alcohol more accessible.