Members of the House today voted 414-1 to pass the final version of H.R. 493, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.
The Senate voted 95-0 to pass the bill April 24, and insurance industry groups are expecting that President Bush soon will it.
America’s Health Insurance Plans, Washington, and the National Association of Health Underwriters, Arlington, Va., put out statements welcoming House passage of the bill.
“Once signed into law, this legislation will strengthen patients’ privacy protections while preserving their access to health insurance plans’ innovative prevention and coordination programs that enhance the safety and quality of care,” AHIP President Karen Ignagni says in a statement.
John Greene, vice president of congressional affairs at NAHU, says the bill will ban wrongful genetic discrimination while preserving “the normal underwriting procedures which keep insurance affordable.”
Another important element of the bill “is protection for employers from civil rights lawsuits stemming from disputes over medical coverage,” Greene says.