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New hurdle to gender-affirming care making its way to the state House

HB 520, which passed the house judiciary committee, would prohibit the use of public funds, like Medicaid, for Gender-affirming care for minors and adults in Idaho.
Posted at 8:05 PM, Feb 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-21 22:05:02-05

BOISE, Idaho — A new bill surrounding gender-affirming health care is headed to the House after passing through its committee hearing.

HB 520 would prohibit the use of public dollars for gender-affirming care, as well as prohibit any healthcare provider who is employed by the state from providing the service. The bill leaves an exception for procedures deemed medically necessary.

The bill passed through the Judiciary, Rules, and Administration Committee with only three representatives opposing it, Rep. Chris Mathias, Rep. Theodore Achilles, and Rep. Dan Garner.

During Wednesday's committee meeting, several people came to give testimony, both in support and in opposition to the proposed legislation.

One layer of the legislation would be that "No state property, facility, or building may be used to provide" gender-affirming care.

Rep. Garner brought up a question about this section in the legislation, but Rep. Julianne Young, who presented the Bill, never gave a clear answer. The two decided to discuss more after the meeting.

Rep. Achilles suggested that this Bill would be yet another bill that would face challenges in courts, leading to a possibility of more money spent fighting litigation.

Idaho News 6 has emailed Rep. Young to ask how the legislation would impact those employed by the state of Idaho, who get their insurance through their job. We have yet to hear back.

The next step for this legislation heading to the House.