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NIH

Legislative History of GINA

In 1995, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced the first federal legislation limiting genetic discrimination, The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act in Health Insurance of 1995. They envisioned the bill, ideally passed by the completion of the Human Genome Project, would allay public fears of genetic discrimination, promote public participation in medical research, and prevent genetic discrimination. The original bill failed to pass either the House of Representatives or Senate. Variations on this legislation, ultimately expanding to include protection in employment, were introduced in each subsequent Congress, and the bills enjoyed broad bipartisan support in both House and Senate. The Senate passed the bill unanimously in consecutive Congresses, but it did not become law because of inaction in the House. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 ultimately passed the House and Senate and was signed into law by President George W. Bush on May 21, 2008.

104th Congress (1995 - 1996)

The first national legislation barring genetic discrimination was introduced in the 104th Congress of 1995-1996. There were several related pieces of legislation: The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination In Health Insurance Act of 1995 (H.R. 2748/S. 1694) introduced into the House by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and the Senate by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME); The Genetic Privacy and Nondiscrimination Act of 1995 (H.R. 2690/S. 1416) introduced in the House by Rep. Clifford Stearns (R-FL) and Sen. Mark Hatfield (R-OR); The Genetic Fairness Act of 1996 (S.1600) introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); and the Genetic Confidentiality and Nondiscrimination Act of 1996 (S.1898) introduced by Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM). None of these bills were passed into law.

105th Congress (1997 - 1998)

Legislation similar to that introduced during the 104th Congress was introduced during the 105th Congress. Once again, none of these bills were passed into law. The introduced bills were: The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance Act of 1997 (H.R. 306/S. 89) introduced by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME); the Genetic Information Health Insurance Nondiscrimination Act of 1997 (H.R. 328) introduced by Rep. Gerald Solomon (R-NY); The Genetic Privacy and Nondiscrimination Act of 1997 introduced twice by Rep. Clifford Stearns (R-FL) as H.R. 341 and H.R. 2198; The Genetic Confidentiality and Nondiscrimination Act of 1997 (S. 422) introduced by Sen. Pete Domenici; and the Genetic Protection in Insurance Coverage Act (H.R. 2216) introduced by Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-MA).

106th Congress (1999 - 2000)

Rep. Slaughter (D-NY) and Sen. Snowe (R-ME) again introduced legislation barring genetic discrimination in the 106th Congress: The Genetic Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance and Employment Act (H.R. 2457) and The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance Act (S. 543). Neither of these bills were passed into law.

107th Congress (2001 - 2002)

Once again, Rep. Slaughter (D-NY) and Sen. Snowe (R-ME) introduced legislation barring genetic discrimination in the 107th Congress. Rep. Slaughter introduced the Genetic Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance and Employment Act (H.R. 602), which had 266 co-sponsors. Sen. Snowe introduced The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance Act (S. 382), which had six co-sponsors. Sen. Daschle (D-SD) attempted to introduce protection against genetic discrimination in two pieces of legislation: as Title IV of the Protecting Civil Rights for All Americans Act ( S. 19) and the Genetic Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance and Employment Act (S. 318). None of these bills were passed.

108th Congress (2003 - 2004)

The tides were starting to turn by the 108th Congress. Sen. Snowe (R-ME) introduced the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2003 (S. 1053), which passed the Senate 95-0. The bill was not taken up by the House. Several other pieces of legislation were introduced, but not passed: The Bipartisan Patient Protection Act of 2004 ( S. 2083) introduced by Sen. Boxer (D-CA); The Genetic Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance and Employment Act (H.R. 1910) introduced by Rep. Slaughter (D-NY); the Genetic Privacy and Nondiscrimination Act of 2003 ( H.R. 3636) introduced by Rep. Stearns (R-FL); and the Equal Rights and Equal Dignity for Americans Act of 2003 (S. 16) introduced by Sen. Daschle (D-SD).

109th Congress (2005 - 2006)

Once again, The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2005 (S. 306) introduced by Sen. Snowe (R-ME) was passed in the Senate 98-0. A related bill, H.R. 1227, was co-introduced in the House by Reps. Slaughter (D-NY) and Biggert (R-IL), but was not voted on.

110th Congress (2007 - 2008)

After 13 years of legislative effort, The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 was signed into law by President George W. Bush on May 21, 2008, becoming Public Law 110-233PDF file. The bill was introduced in the House (H.R. 493) by Rep. Slaughter and in the Senate ( S. 358) by Sen. Snowe. The bill passed the House by a vote of 414-1 and passed the Senate unanimously 95-0.


Posted: April 17, 2017