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A little-noticed bill moving through Congress would allow companies to require employees to undergo genetic testing or risk paying a penalty of thousands of dollars, and would let employers see that genetic and other health information.

Giving employers such power is now prohibited by legislation including the 2008 genetic privacy and nondiscrimination law known as GINA. The new bill gets around that landmark law by stating explicitly that GINA and other protections do not apply when genetic tests are part of a “workplace wellness” program.


The bill, HR 1313, was approved by a House committee on Wednesday, with all 22 Republicans supporting it and all 17 Democrats opposed. It has been overshadowed by the debate over the House GOP proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but the genetic testing bill is expected to be folded into a second ACA-related measure containing a grab-bag of provisions that do not affect federal spending, as the main bill does.

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  • Personally I am convinced that this is only being considered for legislation so that we citizens of a free democracy will be surveilled by the current regime of the “president,” for whatever reasons he makes up for the absolute power of his mindless behavior and attending actions. I think that the current regime is so corrupt and paranoid that they should undergo the gene treatment protocol for our benefit when we decide for whom we would vote….in a “fair election!”

    • It is a conspiracy but not quite up to the 1984 levels you describe. The White House has no idea about this bill. Trump will sign it because the GOP tells him to, not because he could care less or understands the first thing about it.

      The conspiracy– and you’re right that there is one — is among large employers (via the American Benefits Council), who get to collect large fines from employees who refuse to submit, and from large HMOs (also in the American Benefits Council) who get to sell employers DNA-testing programs as part of workplace wellness.

      Virginia Foxx, the North Carolina Republican behind this nonsense, knows nothing about genetics but she is Chair of the relevant committee and gets a lot of corporate contributions. She represents a “Safe” district and is betting that her constituents won’t notice her fingerprints on this bill.

  • Imagine one day you show up to work and there : at your desk or pacing the corredors not just your “mini you” but your “mighty you”! Or even a few mighty you, “I-Robots, performing tasks at incredible speeds and accuracy. You show up to work and either review their performance, reset, group and/or change task depending on current throughputs. There would then be only one issue at hand: Employer’s liability or rights to shared productivity and performance gains in some form of legally bound monetary form.
    In an ethical world, that shall be the rule for current personal records, biometrics their dissemination, sharing, intrusion and at risk data use and collected with or without consent.

  • Why not help employers save costs by bringing back slavery? That goes hand in hand with giving employers the right to start eugenics programs to weed out undesirables like people with disabilities. After all it’s survival of the fittest.

  • I’m a programmer. They can try to violate me in this manner…..won’t work out too well. I would simply leave my company, go freelance, and become their competition…make my day punks.

    • Anthony, please let me know when you decide to go on your own, and how I am able to contact you, because we both have the same response to this destruction of our nation as we have created, and has been usurped by the most reprehensible individuals who have ever taken our nation and made it their own personal regime with an evil presence that is the “leader.”

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