Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-WV), Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI), and Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA) today introduced the No Surprises for Survivors Act, bipartisan legislation that will protect survivors of sexual violence from unexpected medical costs. Specifically, the legislation will ensure patients with private health insurance do not face out-of-pocket costs or surprise medical bills for forensic medical exams, commonly known as rape kits.
The bill is included in a broader package of mental health and consumer protection bills under consideration by the Ways and Means Committee.
"Sexual assault is one of the most abhorrent acts of violence a woman can experience," said Congresswoman Carol Miller. "It is unacceptable for any sexual assault victim to receive a bill for a forensic medical exam, which is critical to ensuring their recovery and collecting any evidence needed for an investigation. This commonsense, bipartisan legislation will protect victims and ensure no woman who experiences sexual violence has to pay a dime for a forensic medical exam."
"The last thing a survivor of sexual violence should have to worry about is an unexpected medical bill," said Congresswoman Gwen Moore. "This legislation is needed because too many survivors, grappling with trauma, also become burdened with the cost of a forensic medical exam -- even though they shouldn't be. With our bipartisan bill, we build on VAWA's no-cost coverage to ensure victims are protected from cost sharing for exams."
"No one should have to worry about getting a surprise bill in the mail, especially following a traumatic experience like a sexual assault. Unfortunately, many survivors still find themselves stuck with unexpected charges," said Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez. "Our bipartisan bill will help right that wrong, ensuring more survivors have access to the care they need and deserve."