Bill expanding access to family planning services stalls

The Idaho House postponed debating the bill until March 21.

BOISE - Idaho House members have signaled they have little desire this year to consider legislation that would provide low-income women access to important health and family planning services.

Idaho's House on Wednesday agreed to delay debating the Democratic-backed measure until March 21.

House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding says the move all but kills the proposal for the year because lawmakers are hoping to adjourn that same week.

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According to the measure, Idaho would have pursued a federal permission - known as a waiver - to expand family planning services to women ages 19-44 who currently do not qualify for Medicare, Medicaid or other health care assistance programs. The waiver would be designed to expand those services for five years with the federal government picking up the majority of the tab, though the state's total cost is expected to be $3.5 million.