Genetic discrimination ban gains support

A federal bill which would ban genetic discrimination by insurers is making significant progress in Congress, a decade after the issue first drew the attention of legislators. The bill's prospects are stronger than they have been in many years, as President Bush has indicated that he will sign such a measure. This comes despite the opposition of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups, which argue that the measure would encourage employees to file genetic discrimination suits. However, all large employers don't oppose the bill; IBM, whose employment policy bans genetic discrimination, came out publicly to support the measure.If it passes, the bill would be the first federal law blocking health insurers from denying coverage to an applicant or charging higher premiums solely due to genetic information they possess. State laws limiting the use of genetic testing results do exist, but they vary widely in how extensive those protections are.

To get more information on the bill:
- read this Wall Street Journal piece (sub. req.)

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