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Governor Brad Little signs bill that bans public funds used for Gender Affirming care

The bill, if signed by Governor Brad Little would prohibit the use of Government funds, like Medicaid or government health insurance for Gender Affirming care
Posted at 10:34 AM, Mar 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-28 12:34:19-04

BOISE, Idaho — On March 27, Governor Brad Little signed HB 668, which would ban the use of public funds for Gender-Affirming Care. On March 22, the legislation passed the Senate 26-8, with one absent.

  • The bill prohibits the use of public funds like Medicaid for any gender-affirming care.
  • It also bans providing that care in a government-owned facility.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story from March 22.)

A Ban on Idahoans using public funds, like Medicaid, for Gender-Affirming care, has now passed the Senate and will go to the Governor's Desk.

"I'm not really feeling any different than how I was feeling the past few days," said Isaac Craghtten, who expected this result. "It was kind of just an expected way that it would progress for me."

Craghtten is a Non-binary Idahoan. They have testified against this ban multiple times.

Craghtten works for the Idaho Department of Correction, meaning they get health insurance from the state. They also worry about a specific line in the bill that says "No state property, facility, or building may be used to provide the surgical operations or medical interventions."

Right now they're in limbo, not knowing how working at a government facility could impact their medication schedule.

"The routine that I'm supposed to take it at does inherently mean it will have to be taken at work," said Craghtten about taking his medication.

Inside the state house on Friday, legislators debated the bill, supporters saying it would save money while not supporting what the bill's sponsor called "controversial" treatments.

"If the government continues to send our tax dollars towards false answers to real questions, we do a terrible disservice to our citizens," said Senator Ben Toews, a Republican from Coeur d’Alene.

Opponents say the price, which was not listed in the bill's fiscal note, is necessary.

"As a State Government, we want to send a message to our state employees and the people on Medicaid, whoever it is, you're worth something," Said Senator Melissa Wintrow, Democrat from Boise. Not we're going to deny you care or send you into fits of depression and suicide. That's a small tab to pay."

They also say, there is a hidden price, the cost of fighting litigation.

"Every Bill that this body has passed that deals with this issue is in court," Wintrow said.

While litigation could cost Idaho Money, it's something Isaac feels could save their health care.

"I'm hoping the federal courts will basically state that you can't do this, and this law is not effective," Craghtten said.