#Republican bill would force employees to submit to #DNA testing

Republicans in Washington have fully embraced the Police State.

Employers could impose hefty penalties on employees who decline to participate in genetic testing as part of workplace wellness programs if a bill approved by a House committee becomes law.

Employers, in general, don’t have that power under existing federal laws that protect genetic privacy and nondiscrimination. But a bill passed last week by a House committee would allow employers to get around that if the information is collected as part of workplace wellness programs.

Under the Affordable Care Act, employers are allowed to discount health insurance premiums by up to 30% — and in some cases 50% — for employees who voluntarily participate in a wellness program.

The bill is under review by other House committees and has yet to be considered by the Senate. But it has already received strong criticism from a broad array of groups as well as House Democrats.

In a letter sent to the committee last week, nearly 70 organizations, representing consumer, health and medical advocacy groups — including the American Academy of Pediatrics, AARP, March of Dimes, and the National Women’s Law Center — said the legislation, if enacted, would undermine basic privacy provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 2008 Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, or GINA.

The latest legislation, though, would allow employers to impose penalties of up to 30% of the total cost of the employee’s health insurance on those who choose to keep such information private.

The bill, Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, HR 1313, was introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), who chairs the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Read the whole story in the Los Angeles Times

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