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Capitol Health Call
June 13, 2007

Genetic Nondiscrimination

JAMA. 2007;297(22):2465. doi:10.1001/jama.297.22.2465-b

On April 25, after years of being blocked by Republicans, the House passed legislation designed to prevent discrimination based on genetic information.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (HR 493 [http://thomas.loc.gov]) prohibits employers from using genetic information as a basis for hiring, firing, or promoting individuals. The act also forbids insurers from denying coverage or charging higher premiums to individuals based on genetic information. A by-product of approving the legislation is that people will now be more willing to undergo genetic testing as an element of preventive health and for use in clinical research, said Rep Louise M. Slaughter (D, NY), a cosponsor of the bill.