Samantha Wright / BSPR

The Idaho Senate passed a bill today that requires an ultrasound before a woman can get an abortion.  Senators spoke passionately for and against the measure. The bill requires a woman to get either an abdominal or trans-vaginal ultrasound before an abortion.  Several senators said their vote would be a personal decision, a vote from the heart. 

Samantha Wright/BSPR

BOISE, Id – Eight states already require women considering an abortion to have an ultrasound. Idaho is one of the state's wanting to have that same requirement on the books.  State lawmakers Wednesday took another step forward to do just that.

The legislation would require a woman to get either an abdominal or trans-vaginal ultrasound before an abortion.  It would be up to the woman to decide whether to see any images from that ultrasound. But Susan Young argues those images would help a woman make an informed choice.   

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

BOISE, Id – Some Idaho lawmakers are weighing in on a national debate over whether religious institutions should be required to provide birth control coverage to employees.

BOISE, Id – An attempt to raise Idaho’s cigarette tax was snuffed out today in the Idaho Legislature.  Despite pleas to save lives and money, lawmakers objected to higher taxes and the effects on local businesses. 

Heidi Low of the American Cancer Society led the charge.  Speaking before the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, she proposed raising the cigarette tax by 1.25 per pack.  Supported by a coalition of 24 other groups, Low said the goal would be to keep kids from smoking. 


BOISE, Id – An Idaho lawmaker wants to form a new committee to oversee Idaho’s compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Republican Representative Janice McGeachin introduced the bill Thursday, calling it a Health Care Reform Oversight Committee.

Janice McGeachin “This is a committee that would provide oversight and make recommendations to the legislature as a whole on whether we wish to specifically authorize or prohibit the state’s compliance with or participation in federal health care reform.”

BOISE, Id – Idaho lawmakers will tackle some major issues this session including whether the state should create a health insurance exchange. Under the Affordable Care Act, such an exchange will have to be in place by 2014. The question is whether Idaho would be better off going with a national system or creating a state one. The Idaho Department of Insurance will help craft legislation on a state-based exchange.

Pertussis Outbreak

Nov 2, 2011

BOISE, Id – Nine children in Idaho’s Panhandle have Whooping Cough.  The highly contagious illness has been spreading in Kootenai County.  Most of the sick children were not vaccinated.

Since January, 39 cases have been confirmed in the five northern counties.  But in Ada, Boise, Elmore, and Valley, the counties covered by Central District Health, the familiar whoop of whooping cough is not being heard.

BOISE, Id – Idaho’s new Medicaid processing system is getting better.  That’s the word Tuesday from the Department of Health and Welfare to a group of lawmakers.  The company that handles the system has worked to improve its track record, after a bumpy start last year.

BOISE, Id – The Boise VA Medical Center received a top national honor Friday.  The award comes from the Joint Commission, a non-profit group that accredits and certifies more than 19-thousand health care organizations in the U-S.  The Boise VA was one of only twenty VA Medical Centers that received the award.  Grant Ragsdale is the Associate Medical Center Director.