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Pelosi: 'Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Will Protect Americans from Misuse of Genetic Information'
Date:5/1/2008

WASHINGTON, May 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi today released the following statement in support of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which the House passed this afternoon by an overwhelming 414 to 1 vote. The landmark bill, which would prohibit health insurance companies and employers from discriminating against people on the basis of genetic test results, now goes to the President's desk for his signature. Below are the Speaker's remarks, which will be inserted into the Congressional Record:

"Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

"I would like to thank Congresswoman Louise Slaughter for her outstanding leadership on this issue. For 13 years, she has worked to pass this bill to protect Americans from genetic discrimination. She's both the powerful chair of the Rules Committee, and a microbiologist, so she knows what she is talking about.

"The sequencing of the human genetic code is one of the great scientific accomplishments in the history of the world. It has the potential to treat and prevent disease. It is evidence of science's almost-biblical power to heal.

"But with this scientific breakthrough comes a responsibility to protect Americans from the misuse of their genetic information. Today, the Congress will begin to fulfill that responsibility by passing this legislation.

"This legislation prevents health insurers from adverse coverage or pricing decisions based on a person's genetic predisposition toward a disease. It ensures an employer cannot make adverse employment decisions based on what is in a person's genetic code. It also makes it illegal for an insurer or employer to request or demand a gene test.

"Because of this legislation, Americans will be free to undergo genetic testing for diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's, without fearing for their job or health insurance. There is
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SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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