Idaho Republicans Push For No Insurance Coverage For Contraception

A bill that would allow Idaho employers to ignore the federal contraception mandate in their insurance plans survived efforts to kill it Monday.

Rep. Carlos Bilbao (R-Emmett) is a devout Catholic and the bill’s sponsor and is mirror of efforts led by Catholic Bishops and Evangelical Christians to make the religious exemption from coverage contraception in employer-provided health insurance plans available to employers other than religious organizations. Their proposal would allow employers the ability to opt out of coverage of any condition they had a moral objection to, for any reason and without justification.

Missouri and Arizona are considering similar legislation.

The bill apparently has broad support among Idaho Republicans but was killed over concerns that as proposed the bill was just too sloppy. Rep. Fred Wood (R-Burley), a doctor, laid out the argument for killing the bill. He argued it imposes the religious beliefs of employers on their workers; would likely result in a costly, losing legal fight against the federal government; and is so broadly written it could be used to erect costly barriers to prevent women from receiving appropriate treatment for debilitating ocular migraines and endometriosis, among other conditions.

Oral birth control pills are “used in the treatment of a lot of disease processes that have absolutely nothing to do with contraception whatsoever,” said Wood. “They are expensive. Even at Walmart prices, they probably run about $600 per year.”

Then, in considering the exemption, the committee did something Congress did not: it allowed a woman impacted by their decision testify. Erin Capener, a Boise resident, told the committee she takes birth control pills to treat polycystic ovary syndrome, whose symptoms include cysts and fertility problems. “Birth control gives you the ability to not only counter those side effects, but also ensure your fertility later on,” Capener said.

Instead of killing the measure, Idaho Republicans will work on a bill that would avoid these unintended consequences. No word yet if they’ve discovered or are considering universal single payer health coverage as the way to most generously protect religious liberty and assure women have access to the critical health care services they need.

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GOP: Ladies Keep Your Legs Shut

Photo from brains the head via flickr.


Terry Vanderbush
Terry V4 years ago


Barbara S.

If Republicans think that not having birth control will cause their women to be more unlikely to have sex and get pregnant... they're dumber than I ever thought they could be.

Darryll Green
Darryll Green4 years ago

Hay, Patric F. Which side, will someone tell me where the independants are because between the democrates and the republicans, they are going to destroy this country or there will be another revolution. i hope they remember what happened the last time the leaders of this country tried to screw us, the brits never got over it

Robby C.
Past Member 4 years ago

Linda M - "While you're at it, look up fascism as well because that is the best description of the country in which you live (I assume you live in the US)."

That's true. However, the US being facist is not centered on the right wing b/c BO is the dictator. And the wealth that is centered on a few (to controll the rest of us) is pretty evenly distributed b/t the richest right & richest left wing individuals. As for using public transit, etc, making someone a socialist, that's not entirely true. Plenty of forms of government have some socialist programs but that doesn't make their whole government socialist nor the people who use such programs. But you're right, the US will NEVER be a socialist country, no matter what the pretend-scholarly high-school & college kids want to think. It will be a facist/socialist society where the top democrats use their money & power to control the people & the top republicans do the same. The 2-party system is ruining us.

Linda McKellar
Past Member 4 years ago

Catherine B. Socialist countires do not "own all the businesses". Check out a dictionary. It's one of those things called a book with little squiggles in it called words. I apologize for picking on you specifically but I'm absolutely tired to the point of frustration with people who do not know what Socialism is. While you're at it, look up fascism as well because that is the best description of the country in which you live (I assume you live in the US). Fascist states are defined as "controlled by extreme right wing groups often of pseudo religious beliefs with strong militaristic leanings and control of its population by propaganda where the majority of wealth is concentrated on a few individuals." Webster's dictionary. Hope that clarifies things for the Socialist bashers. BTW, if you use public transit, schools, libraries, police, fire departments, or collect Social Security or Unemployment, you are a Socialist. SURPRISE!

Robby C.
Past Member 4 years ago

If states "dictate?" Absolutely not. If the states want to offer their own healthcare, fine. Of course, I'm from TN- we already know how badly that'll turn out ;-) Now if ALL states offered it, maybe it'd be different- half of our prob was that people from other states (& countries) immigrated here for health insurance. I can't honestly say I'd blame someone, however, for say, moving from South Dakota to TN b/c they had cancer & couldn't get insurance. This was prob the single biggest factor in bankrupting TNCare. It was revised several times & at this point, is pretty much finished, except for children & certain circumstances. But the federal govt has no business forcing anything on anyone, particularly healthcare. The only reason it exists is for power. No one cares about the citizens- democrats think they do, but it's all a big joke- the real politicians (on both sides) couldn't care less about anything but power & money. And they've proven it time & time again.

Patrick F.
Patrick f4 years ago

Christine S. I agree, if you can't rise to the occasion on your own, you're just not a good soldier.

Myron Scott
Myron Scott4 years ago


Why just the Federal gov't? I mean, is it ok with you if state or local gov't dictates health care matters?

Dawn F.
Dawn F4 years ago

Are you kidding me. INSURANCE PAYS FOR VIAGRA!!! Men should not be able to decide, dictate or have ANY opinion in a woman's reproductive decisions. THE END>

Robby C.
Past Member 4 years ago

I'm all for birth control, but the federal govt has no business in anyone's healthcare. Period!