Through The Static

April 22, 2008

Congress Near Deal on Genetic Test Bias Bill

Filed under: Health,Legislation,Science — disciplepete @ 2:41 pm

NYT:

Congress is close to an agreement that would clear the way for a bill that would prohibit discrimination by employers and health insurers on the basis of genetic tests.

Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican who had been almost single-handedly holding up action on the bill, said in an interview Tuesday that most of his concerns had been resolved and predicted that the bill would pass soon.

Proponents say the new law, more than a dozen years in the making, would help usher in an age of genetic medicine, in which DNA tests might help predict if a person is at risk of a disease, in hopes of taking action to prevent it.

Some of the tests already exist, like one for breast cancer risk, and new ones are being introduced almost every month. But backers of the legislation say many people are afraid of taking such tests because they fear the results would be used to deny them employment or health insurance. (article)

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