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An update from the office of
U.S. Representative Michael E. Capuano
8th Congressional District of Massachusetts

Congressman Capuano's

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May 2, 2008

Genetic Non-Discrimination

On Wednesday the House considered H.R. 493: Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). I am a co-sponsor of GINA and a longtime supporter of the legislation. The bill is designed to protect Americans from employment or health care discrimination on the basis of genetic information. Health insurers are prohibited from considering a genetic predisposition to a particular medical condition in offering coverage or setting co-payment rates. The bill also makes it a violation to collect genetic information without prior consent. H.R. 493 makes it illegal for employers to discriminate when hiring, firing or offering promotions. I voted YES. H.R. 493 passed the House and the President is expected to sign it into law. The entire vote is recorded below:



























Capitol Security

On Thursday I held my first hearing as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Capitol Security. The Subcommittee received an administrative update from the Capitol Police, who explained how they have responded to recent recommendations made by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). They have been working diligently over the past year to assess and revamp internal policies and procedures, and are working to bring the Department's technical capabilities in line with the 21st century demands put on the force. We also received feedback from the GAO and the United States Capitol Police Labor Committee regarding their assessments of the progress that has been made and the work to be done moving forward.

Recording for the Blind

This week I joined more than 200 volunteers at the Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic to help record new audio textbooks as part of the organization's 2008 Record-a-Thon. Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic was recently awarded a $305,500 federal grant to help expand their teacher training and outreach efforts. I was honored to join so many dedicated volunteers who are working to make the written word more accessible to those who are blind or who are struggling with a learning disability.

Community Health Centers

I recently led the entire Massachusetts Congressional delegation in sending a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Leavitt, requesting an extension of the comment period for a proposed rule change on how medically underserved areas (MUAs) and health profession shortage areas (HPSAs) are defined. We are concerned that this complex rule change may negatively impact the many community health centers in the 8th district and throughout the country. The rule change could also impact many other safety net providers and physicians. An extension of the comment period will give all interested parties a chance to more closely review the proposal to better determine its impact. I will continue to work with the rest of the Massachusetts delegation and our local stakeholders to ensure that this rule does not harm our Massachusetts health safety net.

What's Up Next

Next week, the House is scheduled to consider several housing bills as well as H.R. 5818: The Neighborhood Stabilization Act of 2008.

Congressman Mike Capuano
8th District, Massachusetts
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee on Financial Services
Committee on House Administration

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