Opposition strikes at 'Obamacare' on birth control

JOHN MILLER
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Republican Rep. Carlos Bilbao is shown with his copy of the Affordable Care Act in his office at the Idaho Legislature in Boise, Idaho on Friday, Feb. 17, 2012. Bilbao has introduced legislation that would exempt Idaho insurers from a federal requirement they provide birth control for women. (AP Photo/Jessie L. Bonner)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Republican state lawmakers are opening another front in the war against President Obama's health care overhaul.

They're seizing on the hot-button issue of birth control, with bills allowing insurers to ignore the federal requirement to cover free contraception.

In Idaho, the first state to pass a law requiring a lawsuit over the 2010 federal health overhaul, a legislator is pushing to exempt insurers from the new requirement they provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception.

Missouri and Arizona legislation would also allow employers to refuse to provide coverage for birth control, abortions or sterilization procedures.

The state bills are meant to underscore recent religious groups' protest of federal requirements that church-affiliated institutions including universities must include birth control coverage in insurance plans.