A bill that would punish health care providers who fail to report statutory rape passed in the state House of Representatives.
House Bill 2591 would withhold Medicaid payments for five years for any provider who is convicted of failing to report the statutory rape of a patient. It passed easily in the House of Representatives, but critics say it's a solution without a problem.
Critics questioned whether entire health care systems would be penalized if a doctor mistakenly fails to report a child has been raped by an adult. Bill author Jon Echols said the way his bill is written, only the medical provider would be penalized.
Echols said he is not aware of any cases in Oklahoma, but he said there have been cases in other states where providers have failed to report statutory rape. The bill now moves to the Senate.