|As the mapping of the human genome continues to progress and new genetic tests are
developed, the National Breast Cancer Coalition believes strongly that legislative and
regulatory strategies must be established to address the protection of individuals from the
misuse of their genetic information. Improper disclosure can lead to significant harm,
including discrimination in the areas of employment and health insurance.
H.R. 602/S. 318, the Genetic Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance and Employment
Act, would go beyond the protections offered in the Kassebaum-Kennedy Health
Insurance Reform Act of 1996 by extending protections against misuse of genetic
information to all health plans - both federally-regulated and state-regulated insurance -
as well as government, church, individual and Medicare supplemental coverage policies.
It would also extend protections to the employment arena. Passage of this bill would
prohibit health plans and employers from discriminating against individuals based on
their private genetic information.