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DNA testing and Equifax

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  • ICNDonna
    Thank you, Mr. Ford.


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  • johnford
    Equifax and credit bureaus

    The post regarding Equifax and DNA is absolutely false. None of the credit reporting agencies, including Equifax maintain any DNA or any other medical data in their credit reporting databases. Although the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act allows for the inclusion of medical data in a credit file (with caveats), Equifax (and to my knowledge, neither of the other two credit reporting agencies) does not database medical information.

    ChoicePoint, a spin-off from Equifax many years ago, is the company that has interaction with insurance companies, not Equifax.

    John Ford
    Retired Equifax VP and Chief Privacy Officer

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  • ICNDonna
    I spent 25 years in a Nursing Administration office in a major hospital. That "fine print" was not on any consent form in that hospital --- I am very positive about that since I helped with the wording of some consent forms and proof read all of them.


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  • tigger_gal
    well if it gets edited I am glad I read this b4 it did I thank you for this info... will now read the fine print...

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  • Derrick
    started a topic DNA testing and Equifax

    DNA testing and Equifax


    My apologies, but I’m not sure where to post this. I feel that everyone who visits this message board should read this. I am a regular listener of 89.9 WJCT FM which is the local NPR affiliate here in Jacksonville, Florida. Every morning at 9AM, the station broadcasts “Jacksonville Exchange” which is a local news and opinion radio show. Last week, I heard an editorial by Warren Miller on the subject of DNA testing and Equifax that was the scariest thing I’ve ever heard on the radio. While nothing in his opinion is related to IC directly, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to see how IC could be related to it now or in the very near future.

    As soon as I got a chance, I wrote Tom Patton who the station manager at WJCT to see if there was a transcript of Mr. Miller’s commentary. As luck would have it, there was.

    Hopefully, I’m not breaking any message board rules by posting this, but I feel that this is very important since it involves matters of healthcare. I have not edited or added anything to this email message I received from Mr. Patton. Please feel free to contact the station manager if you’d like to verify anything that you read here.



    Dear Derrick:

    You're in luck. I had not yet deleted the script from Commentator Warren Miller
    on this subject. It is pasted in below.

    Thank you for listening to Jacksonville Exchange.


    Thomas C. Patton
    Station Manager / News Director
    89.9 WJCT-FM
    Community Supported Public Radio
    904.358.6382 (vox)
    904.358.6352 (fax)
    100 Festival Park Ave.
    Jacksonville, FL
    Tune In - Find Out


    When you get a blood test for an insurance application, a job application or
    almost any reason for which you’ve signed your permission … genetic testing is
    probably done on your blood … and the information is submitted to national
    information banks that can legally resell the data in your DNA to
    anyone who will pay for it. Not only is it perfectly legal … not only have you
    already agreed to it … but discriminating against you for life insurance, or
    even a job promotion … on genetic grounds … is perfectly legal in 19 states,
    including Florida.

    What’s scariest is not simply that genetic makeup … that is, how likely you are
    to get, say, breast of colon cancer in the future … is not a protected category
    from discrimination … unlike race, religion, gender, age or national origin …
    but that the information is available to literally anyone who
    pays for membership to databanks like Equifax. Right now, some experts say,
    almost every Fortune 500 company already buys it.

    The driver here is insurance. Insurance companies pay for almost all healthcare
    today. When you go visit your doctor, you may think you’ve signed a waiver that
    allows the doctor to share the information gathered from testing you with your
    insurance provider … but the fine print allows the doctor to
    give the information to whomever he or she deems necessary. That allows the
    insurance provider to resell it.

    Let’s say a woman gets a new health insurance policy, and goes to her doctor for
    a physical. DNA testing is done on her blood that shows a 100-percent likelihood
    of breast cancer at some point in her future. She decides to get a prophylactic,
    radical mastectomy. She checks with her insurance
    company to make sure that’s covered. The insurance company doesn’t just say no …
    it cancels the policy, on the grounds that predisposal amounts to a pre-existing

    Discrimination because of an existing disease is protected by the Americans with
    Disabilities Act … but even though the EOC has said discrimination because of
    genetic predisposition to disease is prohibited by ADA, the U.S. Supreme Court
    has issued conflicting rulings on cases. The first state law
    banning genetic testing for employment, passed in Wisconsin in 1991, was enacted
    largely because of testing for the sickle-cell gene … which was discriminatory
    to African-Americans. Since then, bans have passed in each of the six largest
    state except Florida, bans that differ substantially in
    exactly what they cover. To fix that once and for all, in 2000, President
    Clinton called for federal law to ban the consideration of genetic information
    in employment. Congress debated it that year, but did nothing … urged not to by
    insurance lobbyists.

    A new Senate, led by physician Bill Frist, might take this up after the
    elections. Until then, though, your most personal information … your DNA … may
    not be available to you … but credit bureaus and insurance companies already
    have it. For Jacksonville Exchange … I'm Warren Miller.