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Never used breaking before (I don't think), but due to the tireless effort of many of our legislators (Slaughter and Kennedy not least among them), the Genetic Information NonDiscrimination Act passed today, 95-0.

This act will make it illegal for employers and insurance companies to use personal genomic information for hiring, insurance pricing or acceptance purposes. Nor will these companies be allowed to require genomic testing for employment or insurance.

This act has had a long history, passing before only to be held up for various reasons.

It passed the House on March 5, 2008 by a vote of 264 - 148. Now the Senate by 95-0.

This is a momentous day. It will not solve the health care problem this nation is facing, but it does limit one possible huge problem health care insurance faces.

People can now be able to obtain genomic information about their health in the future without worry about possible employment or insurance ramifications.

Major kudos go to several people and organizations for getting this passed.

The Genetic Alliance

The Coalition for Genetic Fairness

Rep. Louise Slaughter

Francis Collins

and many others.

Thank you!

At least we have a little good news on the health front.

Now, it's up to President Bush to sign (which he has said he would).

Originally posted to wclathe on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 12:00 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bush is slipping . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wclathe, mem from somerville

    He's actually signing a legislation that will actually help Americans. WTF?

  •  tip jar for nondiscrimination :D (7+ / 0-)

    It's a short one, but I think this is an important issue and it has been worked on for a decade...

    maybe this is finally going to happen!

    Daddy, Papa & Me: Two dads, a daughter & the politics of it all.

    by wclathe on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 12:03:18 PM PDT

  •  Dr. No is defeated!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wclathe

    Tom Coburn took his hold off after some minor tweaking to the legislation, and we will soon be safer from the secrets of our genes.  

    Elections. Have. Consequences.

  •  I hope it works but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites

    employers and insurers will still use the info to deny people whenever and wherever they can.  People who can't fight back either because they don't know that's what was used to disqualify them from employment or gaining insurance, or people who simply do not have the financial means to fight it.

    We all know there are a lot of questions it is illegal to ask a potential employee during an interview.  But years ago, while going through the hiring process at a very large company I won't name, I was asked for several personal references.  These I willingly gave, not knowing what I was letting my friends and family in for.

    To a person they called me later, upset about the "interviews" that were conducted with them.  They were called, questioned about me in depth on topics that are illegal to ask.  Questions about my religious beliefs and habits, child-bearing plans, my husband, whether they had ever seen me have even a single alcoholic drink (I reckon that glass of wine at my wedding, which all these people attended, counts?), and many more.  It was insane and absolutely against the law.

    Unfortunately my husband and I were too young, too poor and too unwilling to force our family and friends to possibly testify to pursue a case against them.  I still regret that we couldn't expose their hiring practices for what they were.

    If that company could have gained access to genetic information on potential hires, do not think for a moment they would not have done it, used it, and lied about it.

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