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Tourette Syndrome Association Applauds the Passage of Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
Date:4/24/2008

Long-Awaited Legislation Will Protect Against Healthcare and Employment Discrimination

BAYSIDE, N.Y., April 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The national Tourette Syndrome Association, Inc. (TSA), hailed today's vote in the United States Senate approving comprehensive legislation, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), to ban genetic discrimination in health insurance and employment. The House of Representatives passed GINA in April 2007.

"TSA has worked alongside of the Genetic Alliance to call upon the Senate to support the procedural motions necessary to ensure the passage of this bill and today, we are very pleased with the passage of GINA in both the Senate and the House," said Judit Ungar, President of the Association. "For the past two decades TSA has been adamant in our support of patient rights and protection. The American people cannot afford to wait any longer for protection against genetic discrimination," she continued.

GINA (S. 358), would make it illegal for health insurers to raise premiums or deny coverage based on genetic information, and would prohibit employers from using such information for decisions on hiring, firing, promotions or job assignments. Genetic information, for the law's purposes, would include not only tests that determine variations in a person's DNA, but also a family history of a particular disease. But GINA does not prohibit discrimination once someone already has a disease, and some experts said such protection would have to be the next step. Passage of this initiative is crucial to ensuring the future of genetic research and the ability of all Americans to take advantage of genetic tests without fear that the information obtained will be used against them. "We attribute this historic victory to the bipartisan support for the bill. With each passing day, Congressional co-sponsors were being added to GINA, resulting with a record high roster of Congressional supporters, and
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SOURCE Tourette Syndrome Association
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