Bill Aims To Loosen Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

Published: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 2:55pm
Updated: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 3:03pm

Under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, health-insurance companies couldn’t deny you coverage if you had a pre-existing condition like diabetes or cancer. And that included protecting you from any potential diseases you might be prone to getting, due to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, or GINA.

A simple genetic screening test can tell you if you’re prone to getting a disease, like Alzheimer’s or breast cancer. You might get it. You might not. And under Obamacare and GINA, that didn’t matter.

Now, as the GOP works out its own health-care plan to replace Obamacare, what some are calling “Trump-care,” concerns about what will happen with pre-existing conditions cloud the new plan’s future. And a new bill aiming to loosen the regulations laid out in GINA is being considered in Congress.

Dr. Leila Jamal is a clinical genetic counselor and bioethicist at Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. I spoke with her more about this.

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