by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted April 23, 2008 in DNA and the Law
About an hour ago, Sharon Terry of Genetic Alliance sent out an email regarding the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Here’s an excerpt:
OK all â€“ unbelievable as it is, GINA is all set for UC [unanimous consent] passage in the Senate!!!
There is not time today to do the roll call vote, so the big day is tomorrow. The Senate convenes at 10 AM, but we do not know what time the Bill will come up.
GINA was first proposed in 1995 by Louise Slaughter, a House Democrat from western New York. According to the New York Times, if the bill is brought to the Senate floor tomorrow, debate would be limited to two hours with one amendment to address the possibility of employers being sued.
- It would be illegal for insurance companies to raise premiums or deny coverage based on genetic information (see Genetic Testing and Health Insurance in the New York Times)
- Employers are prohibited from using genetic information to hire, fire, promote, or assign jobs (see Want a job? Submit your DNA)
Life and long-term care insurance coverages, however, are not part of GINA.
For more information, visit Coalition for Genetic Fairness.
Update (24 April 2008): GINA passed the Senate by unanimous consent of 95-0. Now it will be sent to President Bush so that he can sign the measure into law.
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