SENATOR MURKOWSKI WELCOMES PASSAGE OF BILL TO OUTLAW DISCRIMINATORY USE OF GENETIC TESTING DATAWASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today welcomed passage of a Senate measure that would prevent genetic information from being improperly used against patients. The Senate passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which prohibits health insurance companies from denying or canceling health coverage on the basis of genetic information. It also prohibits employers from using genetic information to discriminate against an individual through hiring, firing or other employment decisions.
“We must ensure that new medical testing techniques are used to open doors to better health care for Americans, not to close the doors on Americans seeking health insurance or employment,” said Senator Murkowski. “GINA will ensure that all Americans are treated fairly.”
GINA imposes significant penalties for deliberate violations, while capping penalties at $500,000 for unintentional violations of the protections against genetic discrimination. The bill also expressly bans the use, disclosure or collection of genetic information for purposes of insurance underwriting.