‘Prescribe Freedom:’ Florida Gov. DeSantis signs health care bills into law. Here’s what they are

Governor signed SB 252, SB 1580 and HB 1387

FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the Heritage Foundation 50th Anniversary Celebration leadership summit, Friday, April 21, 2023, in Oxon Hill, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) (Alex Brandon, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

DESTIN, Fla. – Three health care bills, including one giving healthcare providers a right to deny patient services based on beliefs, were signed into law Thursday by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The governor held a news conference in Destin, where he signed SB 252, SB 1580 and HB 1387. He was joined by Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo.

One of the bills prohibits businesses from using medical records to determine employment.

“We did a special session of the Florida Legislature in the fall of 2021. We enacted protections against those mandates so people weren’t forced to choose between a shot that they did not want and a job that they needed. And so that saved a lot of jobs,” DeSantis said.

Here are the bill descriptions:

  • SB 252: Protection from Discrimination Based on Health Care Choices; Prohibiting business entities and governmental entities from requiring a person to provide certain documentation or requiring a COVID-19 test to gain access to, entry upon, or service from such entities or as a condition of contracting, hiring, promotion, or continued employment; prohibiting business and governmental entities from refusing to hire persons, discharging persons, depriving or attempting to deprive persons of employment opportunities, adversely affecting persons with respect to employment, or otherwise discriminating against any person based on knowledge or belief of a person’s vaccination or COVID-19 postinfection recovery status or failure to take a COVID-19 test; requiring such entities to provide exemptions and reasonable accommodations for religious and medical reasons, etc.
  • SB 1580: Protections of Medical Conscience; Providing that health care providers and health care payors have the right to opt out of participation in or payment for certain health care services on the basis of conscience-based objections; providing requirements for a health care provider’s notice and documentation of such objection; providing whistle-blower protections for health care providers and health care payors that take certain actions or disclose certain information relating to the reporting of certain violations; prohibiting boards, or the Department of Health if there is no board, from taking disciplinary action against or denying a license to an individual based solely on specified conduct, etc.
  • HB 1387: Department of Health; Prohibits certain research relating to enhanced potential pandemic pathogens; provides requirement for researchers applying for state or local funding; prohibits medical marijuana treatment centers from producing certain marijuana products; provides requirements for marijuana packaging & labeling, medical marijuana treatment center advertising, & medical marijuana testing laboratories & employee background screening; provides requirements for live birth, death, & fetal death records & marriage licenses & certain dissolution-of-marriage records; revises requirements for applicants for certification or recertification as EMT or paramedic; exempts certain applicants for certification as certified nursing assistant from portion of competency examination; revises scope of practice for audiologists & hearing aid specialists; revises membership requirements for members of Board of Hearing Aid Specialists.

DeSantis has spent the week criss-crossing the state, signing various bills into law.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.