Gattaca is coming and you should be worried

Photo by University of Michigan School of Nursing, used under a Creative Commons Licence

Hey , Americans. Did you know H.R.1313 – Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act has gone to your Committee of Ways and Means? Sounds pretty innocuous, right? Who wouldn’t support Employee Wellness?

If passed, HR1313 will overturn the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) George W Bush signed in 2008.

GINA means “it is against the law for your employer to use family health history and genetic test results in making decisions about your employment.”

If HR1313 passes it will now be legal for “workplace wellness programs to ask employees questions about genetic tests taken by themselves or their families, and to make inquiries about the medical history of employees, their spouses, their children, and other family members” and that if you refuse you will face a financial penalty “of up to 30 percent of the total cost of an employee’s health insurance.”

This raises the spectre of next being required to submit this information right at the hiring process. Imagine getting turned down for a job because your grandfather has Parkinsons, therefore making you a potential liability in twenty years. Or because your spouse is a carrier for sickle cell disease. Or being fired because your baby has long QT syndrome.

This shouldn’t be a thing. Knowledge is power, people.

One thought on “Gattaca is coming and you should be worried

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s