House Says No To Genetic Discrimination

Bush has pledged to sign bill; hoorays from docs and scientists
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2008 3:11 PM CDT
A slide used for testing DNA.   (AP Photo/Rob Carr)
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(Newser) – A long-suffering bill outlawing genetic discrimination by health insurers and in the workplace sailed through the House today, and President Bush has pledged to sign it into law, Reuters reports. The bill, forms of which have kicked around Washington for 13 years, forbids insurers from denying coverage based on genetic tests, and employers from using genetic information in job decisions.

The vote in the House was 414-1; last week, the Senate passed the measure 95-0. Though some business groups oppose the legislation, it has wide support among doctors and scientists. If people have no fear that testing might be used against them, one heart doc reasoned, “we believe more Americans will participate in genetic research and accept genetically directed strategies for treatment.”