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Idaho House GOP votes against taxpayer funded transgender care

James Dawson
Boise State Public Radio

Idaho House Republicans moved to block taxpayer money from funding gender-affirming care on Monday.

Medicaid enrollees would no longer have access to things like puberty blockers or cross sex hormones under the proposal. It could also block such treatments for the 60,000 people covered under the Idaho state employee insurance plan.

Rep. Julianne Young (R-Blackfoot), who sponsors the bill, said a transgender person can still pay for these themselves if they choose.

“Taxpayers shouldn’t be required to pay for procedures, treatments and surgeries, which are controversial at best,” Young said.

All major medical associations in the U.S support gender-affirming care.

Holding her newborn children in her arms, Young said, has been the greatest joy of her life.

“The procedures and the medications that we’re talking about in many instances deprive individuals of this opportunity years before they have the ability to even appreciate it,” she said.

Hormone therapy and surgeries can render a transgender person sterile, though puberty blockers simply delay sexual development.

Democrats opposed the bill, including Rep. Todd Achilles.

“Nobody is asking you to embrace the community or to further that lifestyle. That’s their decision,” said Achilles. “But that’s fundamental, I think, to how we live as Idahoans is to respect people making that decision.”

Idaho lawmakers banned gender-affirming care for minors last year, but a federal court temporarily blocked the legislation from taking effect in December.

State senators will take up the issue next.

Copyright 2024 Boise State Public Radio

I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season.

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