U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R, NC) has introduced a bill that could penalize people if they do not want to undergo genetic tests for their workplace insurance.
This has to do with “workplace wellness programs” — some organizations provide a “health program” for their employees and offer discounts on their insurance if they participate.
A part of this program is genetic testing, which would reveal what potential diseases we carry in our genes.
Right now, It is not legal to force people to reveal their genes — because of ADA privacy protections and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), passed in 2008.
Health insurance companies and employees currently can’t discriminate (increase rates) against people because of the genes they carry, but that could change with this proposed bill by Rep. Foxx.
Her bill would allow employers to penalize employees with a 30% increase in their health insurance if they choose to not reveal their genetic information.
This bill has opposition from House Democrats and almost 70 health/medical advocacy organizations.
This could impact Deaf people — since a percentage of us are Deaf because of our genes, and we might carry a "deaf gene." Could this be a slippery slope to a future where Deaf people have to pay more for insurance?