Commentary

Editorial: Time for Congress to kill Virginia Foxx’s ‘wrongheaded’ genetics bill

As Congress continues its debate over the Republican replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act, one bill sponsored by North Carolina Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC5) is being resoundingly rejected by her hometown newspaper.

Here’s how the editorial board of the Winston-Salem Journal explains the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act (HR 1313) that was introduced by the 5th District Congresswoman earlier this month:

The Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, HR 1313, would allow employers to impose big financial penalties on employees who decline to provide information on their genetics through workplace wellness programs. “Employers, in general, don’t have that power under existing federal laws that protect genetic privacy and nondiscrimination. But a bill passed Wednesday by a House committee would allow employers to get around that if the information is collected as part of workplace wellness programs,” The Washington Post reported last week.

Bill supporters say it gives employers “the legal certainty” to promote good health and lower health-care costs. They say that, as it is now, federal regulations make it difficult to offer these programs.

This bill, which would be big government run amok, is not the solution. It would allow employers to reward those who share their genetic info with deep cuts to their health-insurance costs, leaving those who don’t submit paying substantially more.

So employees would feel pressured to provide their existing genetic information, and possibly submit to genetic testing, or pay the price. That is neither right nor fair. Opponents, including writers to our letters page, are rightly raising heck over this bill that one House committee has already approved.

Read the full editorial from the Journal here.

Learn more about HR 1313 in The New York Times.

4 Comments


  1. Laurie

    March 15, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    This kind of logic will have us all getting microchipped, tatooed and carrying around RFID tags everywhere we go.

  2. Gailya Paliga

    March 15, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Foxx sides with Big Government and Big Business by forcing Genetic Testing on Regular People. How ironic. Don’t Republicans claim to hate big government?

  3. William L. Larsen

    March 15, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Mrs. Foxx’s bill is the most unAmerican proposed legislation since Obamacare. I am shocked and horrified that this bill was proposed by a Republican; she is obviously a RINO! I pray that everything that can be done to stop this encroachment of peoples civil liberties will be done. Shame on you Virginia Foxx.

    I am also disappointed that you will not accept communications from any North Carolinian, not just those from district 4. This policy shows a complete lack of bravery and commitment to the people of North Carolina; it also shows a distinct lack of openness with regards to serving all of the people of North Carolina and not just special interest groups.

  4. Christina T

    March 18, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Mr. Larson, Representative Foxx’s address in DC is Virginia Foxx 2262 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515. She also has two addresses in NC listed on her website but they’re not listed on the top right under ‘contacts’. Scroll to the bottom of the website and click on ‘contacts’ for her physical office addresses. I’m a little insulted she hides her contact information, apparently she thinks we’re not the brightest bunch. http://foxx.house.gov/

Check Also

The Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

1. The Right wages class warfare in Washington ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

The controversy over “Silent Sam,” the Confederate monument on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus, has been ra [...]

North Carolina tries to mine its swine and deal with a poop problem that keeps piling up A blanket o [...]

This story is part of "Peak Pig," an examination of the hog industry co-published with Env [...]

Few issues in the North Carolina’s contentious policy wars have been more consistently front and cen [...]

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a jaw-dropping civil rights lawsuit again [...]

Will Burr and Tillis really vote for this? For much of the 20th Century, one of the labels that Amer [...]

President Trump and Congressional Republicans aim to rebrand enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest ho [...]

20—number of years since a bipartisan coalition in Congress passed the Children’s Health Insurance P [...]

Spotlight on Journalism

We invite you to join a special celebration of investigative journalism! The evening will feature Mike Rezendes, a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe Spotlight Team known for their coverage of the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Tickets available NOW!

Spotlight On Journalism

This event will benefit NC Policy Watch, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. Sponsorship opportunities available now!

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more