A new bill would allow employees to impose a penalty of as much as 30% of insurance costs to any employee who is unwilling to provide their genetic testing results. This would result in a rate hike of health insurance for the employee by thousands of dollars if the employee refused to agree to a DNA test. Some companies would offer discounts to employees who complete the assessments. Critics of the proposed bill say it violates other laws that protect people against discrimination and privacy of medical records.
House Republicans are behind the proposed bill that they feel with help keep health insurance costs down and support a healthier work environment. but it has strong opposition from over 70 groups which include the American Association for Retired People and the March of Dimes who say that forcing employees and potential employees to take these tests in a huge invasion of privacy.
This legislation has passed one house committee. But in 2008 a bill was passed on the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act. The Act is in place to protect the privacy of genetic testing. This bill was passed to encourage people to undergo genetic testing to ascertain if they were at risk for certain diseases, so they can have an earlier diagnosis and more successful treatment, or possibly avoiding the disease altogether by lifestyle changes.
The American Disabilities Act also protects people against discrimination for known disabilities.
What do you think about employers having the power to use your DNA information as a weapon to cut their expenses or possibly not even hiring you to begin with?