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Rep. Slaughter’s Genetic Non-Discrimination Bill Clears Congress, President to Sign

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Yesterday, by a vote of 413 to 1, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation first introduced by House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-Fairport) in 1995 to prohibit discrimination based on an individual’s genetic profile. The bill, which cleared the U.S. Senate unanimously last week, is expected to be signed by President Bush.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) (H.R. 493) prevents health insurance companies from adjusting premiums or making coverage determinations based on genetic information of individuals and their potential predisposition to certain health issues. The bill also bars employers from making hiring decisions based on this information.

The legal protections provided in the bill are meant to encourage individuals to take advantage of genetic testing. As technology advances, the genetic makeup of an individual is becoming increasingly important in health prevention and care.

HANYS salutes Chairwoman Slaughter tireless efforts in championing this important cause. HANYS also thanks the New York State Congressional Delegation for its unanimous support for GINA. - Susan Van Meter

Published May 2, 2008