Congress Passes Genetic Nondiscrimination Bill

The President is expected to sign it, protecting people against loss of insurance or employment.

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Congress passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act today, the Associated Press reports. If signed into law, the bill would make it illegal for companies and insurers to discriminate against people based on genetic information about them, such as predispositions certain people may have to developing breast cancer, sickle cell disease, or diabetes.

President Bush is expected to sign the bill. Only one member of Congress, GOP Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, voted against the legislation, which was passed unanimously by the Senate last week. The House passed it today.

The legislation had been in the works for years, as U.S. News's Bernadine Healy explained in November. And in the On Women blog, Deborah Kotz provides examples of people who've been denied insurance and even jobs because of their genes.