Genetic Info Nondiscrimination Bill Signed into Law

May 21, 2008 ( - President Bush on Wednesday signed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act into law.

The measure bars employers from using information from genetic testing to hire, fire, or promote workers, and also prohibits insurance companies from using genetic testing results for determining eligibility or setting premiums (See Genetics Test Info Discrimination Bill Passes U.S. Senate ). The bill was passed to the president after gaining House approval on May 1 (See House Passes Genetic Testing Non-Discrimination Bill ).

“With this landmark bipartisan legislation, Congress and the president have taken strong action to prohibit discrimination based on a person’s genetic makeup and to protect patients’ privacy as they pursue genetic evaluations,” said America’s Health Insurance Plans President Karen Ignagni, according to Business Insurance. “This legislation also ensures that patients can continue to benefit from health plans’ innovative early detection and care coordination programs that improve the safety and quality of care.”

Business Insurance said a statement issued by the White House following the signing of the bill quoted President Bush as saying the new law “protects our citizens from having genetic information misused, and this bill does so without undermining the basic premise of the insurance industry.”