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Proposed ban on DNA tests hits a snag

Fernandina Beach senator postpones vote on proposal

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – State Sen. Aaron Bean has postponed a vote on a proposal that would ban life-insurance companies from using genetic testing information when deciding whether to sell policies to customers.

Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, on Monday asked Senate Health Policy Committee Chairman Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, to delay a vote on the measure (SB 258) until next week, so he can have more time to work on the issue.

The proposal is a high priority for House leaders and the move to scuttle the Senate committee vote came after a House insurance panel signed off on a companion bill (HB 879) last week.

Federal law already bars health insurers from considering customers’ genetic information, and the measures working their way through the Florida Legislature would extend that prohibition to life insurers.

The insurance industry, which is fighting the legislation, maintains that Florida would be the first state in the nation to ban the use of such information for life-insurance policies.