Summary of Laws Regarding Genetic Discrimination

 

 

Laws Regarding Genetic Discrimination

AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL:

There are nine bills under consideration in the 105th Congress that directly address genetic discrimination:

  • Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) is sponsoring bill H.R. 306 - health insurance   
  • Representative Gerald Solomon (R-NY) is sponsoring bill H.R. 328 - health insurance   
  • Representative Clifford Stearns (R-FL) is sponsoring bill H.R. 2198 - health insurance   
  • Representative Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) is sponsoring bill H.R. 2215 - employment   
  • Representative Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) is sponsoring bill H.R. 2216 - life and disability insurance   
  • Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY) is sponsoring bill H.R. 2275 - employment   
  • Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) is sponsoring bill S. 89 (companion to H.R. 306) - health insurance   
  • Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) is sponsoring bill S. 422 - health, life and disability insurance   
  • Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD) is sponsoring bill S. 1045 (companion to H.R. 2275) - employment 

In addition there are two bills under consideration that include genetic issues as part of their focus:

  • Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA) is sponsoring bill H.R. 1815 - medical privacy, insurance   
  • Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN) is sponsoring bill S. 346 - patient's rights, health insurance 

AT THE STATE LEVEL:

Twenty-four states have enacted laws that either provide protection against genetic discrimination or which prohibit genetic testing in either the insurance or employment setting.

  • Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin have legislative protections against genetic discrimination in health insurance.   
  • Illinois, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas and Wisconsin have legislative protections against genetic discrimination in the workplace.   
  • Arizona and Colorado have legislative protections against genetic discrimination in disability insurance.   
  • Arizona, New Jersey, Maryland and Montana have limited legislative protections against genetic discrimination in life insurance. 

There are at least sixty bills pending in eighteen state legislatures that would provide protection against genetic discrimination in either the insurance or employment setting.

* Alabama, California, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin are sponsoring such bills.


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