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Reform Jewish Leader Celebrates the Enactment of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act

Pelavin: As the first federal law preventing health insurers or employers from using genetic information to discriminate, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (H.R. 493) will ensure that no woman, man, or child will have to choose between seeking genetic testing and keeping a job or obtaining health insurance.

Contact: Sean Thibault or Jessica Weiser
202.387.2800 | jweiser@rac.org

Washington D.C. May 23, 2008 - In response to President Bush’s signature of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 493), Mark Pelavin, Associate Director for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

The enactment of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (H.R. 493) is a long-awaited, hard-earned victory for advocates of comprehensive protection of private health information.  This legislation forbids insurers and employers from requiring genetic testing or using genetic information to deny insurance coverage, raise insurance premiums, or hire and fire workers.

As the first federal law preventing health insurers or employers from using genetic information to discriminate, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (H.R. 493) will ensure that no woman, man, or child will have to choose between seeking genetic testing and keeping a job or obtaining health insurance.

The Jewish tradition teaches us that human life is of infinite value and that the preservation of life supersedes almost all other considerations.  The ability to obtain genetic testing without fear of discrimination is essential to promoting prevention and health in our communities.  The much-anticipated enactment of this legislation should be celebrated and championed as a victory for health and protection of privacy for America’s people.  

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the
Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more
 than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership
 includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis



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