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House passes bill to prevent genetic bias


WASHINGTON--The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved legislation that would make it illegal for employers and health insurers to deny coverage or charge enrollees higher premiums based solely on a genetic predisposition to a specific disease.

The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act--H.R. 493--also would bar employers from using individuals' genetic information in hiring, firing, job placement or promotion decisions.

Additionally, the bipartisan measure, introduced by Reps. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., and Judy Biggert, R-Ill., would prohibit genetic testing as a prerequisite for insurance and would extend medical privacy and confidentiality rules to the disclosure of genetic information.