US Congress votes to ban genetic discrimination

A landmark bill to forbid discrimination against people whose genetic information shows a predisposition to certain illnesses won final U.S. congressional approval on Thursday.

US Congress votes to ban genetic discrimination
Thirteen years after such legislation was first introduced, the House of Representatives passed the bill, 414-1, and sent it to President George W. Bush, who has promised to sign it into law. The Senate approved the bipartisan measure last week, 95-0.

The bill would bar health insurers from rejecting coverage or raising premiums for healthy people based on personal or familial genetic predisposition to develop a particular disease such as cancer, diabetes, heart ailments or many others.

In addition, it would prohibit employers, unions and employment agencies from using genetic information in hiring, firing, pay or promotion decisions. It would also forbid health insurers from compelling a person to take a genetic test.

Backers of the measure said people have declined genetic tests that could help lead to treatment of their ailments out of fear they could lose their jobs or insurance coverage.

Reuters
Last Mod: 02 Mayıs 2008, 17:12
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