The U.S. House of Representatives, as expected, passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act this afternoon. The bill, which had already been approved by the Senate, now moves on to the White House, where the President is expected to sign the bill. The bill’s summary and status can be found here.The roll call vote at 12:40 p.m. can be found here. It passed overwhelmingly. (Guess which Representative opposed it.)
The New York Times, through an AP report, has the immediate coverage:
Companies would no longer be able to use genetic information like a person’s predisposition for breast cancer, sickle cell or diabetes to make insurance or job decisions under a bill passed by Congress on Thursday.
The House voted 414-1 for the legislation a week after it passed the Senate on a 95-0 vote. The bill would bar health insurance companies from using genetic information to set premiums or determine enrollment eligibility. Similarly, employers could not use genetic information in hiring, firing or promotion decisions.
As I noted earlier this week, this bill is not expected to have a significant impact in Connecticut where there is already legislation on the books prohibiting discrmination based on genetic information.