Tuesday, January 15, 2008

GINA: Behind-the-Scenes Veto Threat

What kept the "Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act" out of the omnibus? Apparently "Dr. No" (Sen. Coburn, the GINA's persistent foe) wasn't alone in his opposition to the legistlation. "Capitol Hill Watch" by Kaisernetwork.org relays this bit of back-room negotiating from CQ Today (14 January 2008):

A "behind-the-scenes veto threat from the White House apparently kept a popular genetics anti-discrimination measure" (HR 493) from being attached to the FY 2008 omnibus spending bill (PL 110-161), CQ Today reports. Regan Lachapelle, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), said senior administration negotiators told Senate Democrats that Bush would veto the package if the genetics measure was included. The legislation would bar employers and insurers from using information from genetic testing to determine how much a person's insurance premiums should be or other business decisions, including hiring. According to CQ Today, "Congress will work to clear the bill early this session".

Congress will work to clear ... that's a rather vague forecast. - J.O.

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