by James Corbett, The International Forecaster:
The creepiness of this type of genetic testing technology is that it opens up the very fabric of our DNA to the very same interests who have been on the record hoping to sterilize or euthanize vast numbers of us for decades.
As James Evan Pilato and I reported on this week’s edition of New World Next Week, American workers participating in “workplace wellness programs” may have to submit to genetic screening or face tough penalties if a new bill making its way through Congress is passed.
The bill in question, H.R. 1313, is full of that self-referential legalese gobbledygook that makes legislation incomprehensible to non-specialists:
“(A) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, workplace wellness programs and programs of health promotion or disease prevention offered by an employer in conjunction with an employer-sponsored health plan that meet the requirements set forth in subparagraph (B) shall be considered to be in compliance with[…]”
…You get the picture. Or maybe you don’t. That’s the point.
So, long story short, this deceptively short bill would accomplish some fairly profound things: It would allow employers to impose financial penalties on employees who don’t participate in company wellness programs… It would allow those wellness programs to mandate genetic screening for participants… It would allow the results of that screening to be shared with third parties, including non-health professionals.
To accomplish this, the bill exempts these “wellness” programs from the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As the American Society of Human Genetics points out in their press release warning about the bill:
“A key component of ADA and GINA is that they prevent workers and their families from being coerced into sharing sensitive medical or genetic information with their employer. For GINA, genetic information encompasses not only employees’ genetic test results but also their family medical histories. H.R.1313 would effectively repeal these protections by allowing employers to ask employees invasive questions about their and their families’ health, including genetic tests they, their spouses, and their children may have undergone. GINA’s requirement that employees’ genetic information collected through a workplace wellness program only be shared with health care professionals would no longer apply.”