BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A proposal to prohibit hospitals from billing rape victims for medical exams has started advancing in the Louisiana  House.

Rep. Helena Moreno, a New Orleans Democrat and the measure's sponsor, said billing rape victims is commonplace in Louisiana, even though it is banned by federal law. Moreno's bill would direct health care providers to seek payment from a state crime victim's board.

The House Judiciary Committee backed the proposal without objection Thursday, sending it to consideration before the full House. A separate measure would tap into unclaimed gambling winnings to pay the crime victim's board to cover testing costs.

The bill is part of a larger package of measures aimed at improving the way victims of sexual assault are treated.

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House Bill 194 can be found at www.legis.la.gov

 

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