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Taxpayer dollars covering gender affirming care? House Committee says no

The dome of the Idaho Statehouse at sunset with an American flag and Idaho flag.
James Dawson
Boise State Public Radio

A House committee Thursday signed off on a bill barring taxpayer dollars from paying for gender affirming care.

Medicaid enrollees in Idaho wouldn’t be able to get treatments like hormone therapy or gender confirmation surgery under the bill.

The ban could also apply to the 60,000 people covered by the state of Idaho’s employee insurance plan, though lawmakers, including the bill’s sponsor, said it’s unclear.

Several transgender people testified that the treatments they get from Medicaid have greatly increased their quality of life and helped them become taxpaying contributors to society.

Rep. Todd Achilles (D-Boise) said it’s unfair to bar transgender Idahoans who pay into Medicaid or their state insurance plan from the care they need.

“That’s a gigantic inconsistency here between what people have contributed and the fundamental rights to get the services out of the system,” Achilles said.

But Rep. Kenny Wroten (R-Nampa) said taxpayers don’t always get a return on their investment.

“They don’t let me drive the police car because I pay taxes. It doesn’t cover everything,” said Wroten. “It’s not carte blanche.”

The bill now goes to the House floor after a party line committee vote.

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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