05.01.08

ENZI PRAISES HOUSE PASSAGE OF BILL TO PREVENT GENETIC INFORMATION DISCRIMINATION PRESIDENT EXPECTED TO SIGN LEGISLATION TO SAVE LIVES, REDUCE HEALTH CARE COSTS

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of theSenate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today applauded theHouse of Representatives for its passage of the “Genetic Information Non-DiscriminationAct,” H.R. 493, a bill that will prohibit health insurers and employers from attempting to usegenetic information to discriminate against persons with potential health problems. “The ‘Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act’ will help fulfill the promiseof genetic research to save lives and reduce health care costs,” Enzi said. “Thislegislation establishes basic protections that encourage individuals to take advantage oflife-saving genetic screening, counseling, testing, and new therapies, without fearing thatthis information will be misused or abused.” “This bill protects both employees and employers by setting a standard of conductthat is easy to understand and easy to follow,” Enzi said. “We are far better off settinguniform, consistent rules of the road clearly and up front, rather than allowing them to beset piecemeal through litigation.” Enzi said the bill will prohibit genetic discrimination in health insurance,including decisions that affect health insurance premiums, contribution amounts, andeligibility, as well as genetic discrimination in the workplace, including employmentdecisions like hiring, firing, job assignments, and promotions. The Senate approved the bill, co-sponsored by Senator Enzi, Senator TedKennedy (D-MA), Chairman of the HELP Committee, and Senator Olympia Snowe (RME),by a 95-0 vote last week. The House approved the bill today, 414-1. “This bill has been a long time coming. After more than a year of hard work tofind common ground among Senate and House Republicans and Democrats, I am proudto send this important bill to President Bush to sign into law.” ####

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