We have just watched the CSpan coverage, and we are pleased to report that the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act, HR. 493, also known as GINA–has finally made it through the Senate! It cleared the House long ago. We are told that it is likely to be signed by President Bush. A good article summarizing the new movement on the bill is here: Congress Near Deal on Genetic Test Bias Bill
We know that this isn’t perfect legislation–what is? We know it doesn’t ensure access to health insurance. But it will protect many of us from some of the SNPs, indels, and other genetic surprises we all carry in our genome.
I hope this will lead to more comfort and peace-of-mind for people who may choose to participate in research. I hope that this will encourage people who may benefit from diagnostic testing to access it and use it safely. I hope this will enable small business folks like us to get health insurance with less fear.
I hope the we will see the genome’s value as a health tool come to fruition. May we all be safe from our genes.
Major kudos to the Genetic Alliance and Sharon Terry’s tireless work on this, the Coalition for Genetic Fairness, and Rep. Louise Slaughter who launched this legislation’s path years ago, as well as the many groups who have worked so long and so hard to enable this important legislation to happen.
- Yea: All of them!! (95 in the voice vote)
- Nay: 0
A great day in genomics. Without objection.
Update: the roll call vote is available. McCain, Clinton, Obama = not voting.
Update II: the roll call vote in the House is available now (re-voting based on the version that the Senate passed). 414 Yea. 1 Nay. The “Nay” was Ron Paul. I haven’t seen why he objected.