While congressional Republicans debate just how many millions of people they want to kick off their healthcare, House Republicans are also advancing legislation that would roll back regulations on genetic privacy.
Republicans intend to end regulations established by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) that prohibit businesses from using genetics against their employees.
A little-noticed bill moving through Congress would allow companies to require employees to undergo genetic testing or risk paying a penalty of thousands of dollars, and would let employers see that genetic and other health information.
Giving employers such power is now prohibited by legislation including the 2008 genetic privacy and nondiscrimination law known as GINA. The new bill gets around that landmark law by stating explicitly that GINA and other protections do not apply when genetic tests are part of a “workplace wellness” program.
House Republicans reportedly plan to attach this legislation to a supplemental bill that would be passed after they repeal Obamacare so the best chance to stop it may be to kill repeal.
Unlike their plan to repeal Obamacare through reconciliation, however, this legislation could be filibustered. And it almost certainly would be.
I don't think it would be a big stretch to call this a eugenics bill, because that's where this leads. If you can justify punishing someone for refusing to reveal their genetic makeup or history, you could justify firing them after discovering they're genetically predisposed to costly illnesses.
This legislation was sponsored by Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC).