Bill to exempt insurers from contraception coverage

Newly introduced legislation in Idaho would exempt health insurers from being required to provide free contraception to employees of religious-affiliated organizations.

Idaho Rep. Carlos Bilbao introduced a bill Thursday to counter the White House's decision requiring insurers to provide free contraceptives directly to members if their employers object, reported the Associated Press.

Presenting the bill (H.B. 530) to a House committee Thursday, Bilbao said the Obama administration's contraceptive policy "is an attack on my rights of conscience" and an "affront to my religious freedoms," the Idaho Statesman reported.

Bilbao clarified that his bill doesn't outlaw abortion or birth control but allows insurers to opt out of the provision that requires them to provide coverage, according to the Magic Valley Times-News.

The House won't vote on the bill until at least Monday, when it will hear additional testimony. If passed, the bill would be effective immediately.

Bilbao also presented a non-binding joint memorial to Congress (H.J.M. 10), which urges Congress to pass legislation to let insurers and other stakeholders with religious or moral objections to specific aspects of the reform law to decline to provide coverage, noted the Statesman.

To learn more:
- read the bills H.R. 530 and H.J.M. 10
- read the Idaho Statesman article
- see the Magic Valley Times-News article
- check out the Associated Press article