Idaho House dumps plan to add Plan B, ella prohibitions to insurance exchange measure

Rep. John Rusche

Rep. John Rusche

Pro-life Republicans in the Idaho House failed to amend a measure creating a state-based insurance exchange with prohibitions on emergency contraceptive coverage.

The House on Wednesday voted 38-32 against the gambit meant to add limits to Gov. Butch Otter’s exchange proposal forbidding insurance coverage for the drugs “Plan B” and “ella,” used after intercourse to prevent pregnancy.

Though no studies show they cause abortions, Republican Rep. Vito Barbieri suggested otherwise, and argued Idaho’s existing law forbidding insurers on its exchange from offering coverage for abortions wasn’t good enough.

Democratic Minority Leader John Rusche of Lewiston, a doctor and former health insurance executive, pointed out the lack of scientific evidence.

The debate got heated, when Lewiston GOP Rep. Thyra Stevenson suggested Rusche had a conflict of interest.

Speaker Scott Bedke warned Stevenson, telling her she was being inappropriate.  (AP)

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