Hsien-Hsien Lei of Eye on DNA links to an article in the Los Angeles Times [U.S. military practices genetic discrimination in denying benefits].
The issue concerns a Marine who was discharged without medical benefits because he was found to have a genetic disease—in this case it was Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome.
Apparently the US military doesn't take responsibility for soldiers who develop medical problems as a result of a genetic pre-disposition.
The regulation appears to have stemmed from an effort to protect the armed services from becoming a magnet for people who knew they would come down with costly genetic illnesses, according to Dr. Mark Nunes, who headed the Air Force Genetics Center's DNA diagnostic laboratory at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi.As you might expect, the lawyers got involved and some of these men and women have won some compensation from the US government. But some lost their case and they face bankruptcy.
Only in America.
There's a simple solution to all these disputes about health coverage and your genes. It's called universal health care. Try it. You'll like it. (Unless you're a lawyer.)
[Photo Credit: The photograph shows Dr. Mark Nunes (center) with Jay Platt, a former US Marine Corps drill instructor (left) and Susannah Baruch, senior policy analyst at the Genetics and Public Policy Center (right). The panelists are discussing Genes in Uniform: Don't Test, Don't Tell.]