About This Legislation:
Fear of discrimination was preventing individuals from accessing their genetic information despite advancing science. The same fear caused a chill in clinical trials, slowing the progress of research and development of potentially lifesaving treatments.
This important legislation protects Americans from discrimination by health insurers or employers based on genetic information by:
The House bill was sponsored by Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY 28th) and had 188 cosponsors including 123 Democrats and 65 Republicans. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) sponsored the Senate bill which had 39 cosponsors including 29 Democrats, 2 Independents, and 8 Republicans.
The bill passed and is law. The law’s health insurance provisions will take effect in May 2009. The employment provisions will take effect in November 2009.
If are facing genetic discrimination now, your state may have laws to protect you. You can learn about current state genetic discrimination protections for the workplace at: www.ncsl.org/programs/health/genetics/ndiscrim.htm and in health insurance at: http://www.ncsl.org/programs/health/genetics/ndishlth.htm.