Friday, June 11, 2010

The Past Two Weeks

The past two weeks at AAPD have been extremely busy. Currently, I have been working on researching and analyzing information concerning two main topics; the Elena Kagan nomination to the Supreme Court and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA). AAPD staff will either develop a position or remain neutral on these issues based on the research and analysis I have complied.

First, I have been research Elena Kagan and her nomination to the Supreme Court. This has been a difficult topic to research. As most people are probably aware, Elena Kagan has worked in many positions throughout her life, including Solicitor General of the United States, Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council. However, she has never been a judge nor issued opinions on disability related issues. Therefore, it is difficult to attain information on her policy positions. Since organizations have little information on Kagan’s positions, they have requested that the Clinton library provide documents from when Kagan worked at the White House. By providing these documents, organizations can view them to learn if Kagan provided opinions on certain issues. If she did, organizations can develop positions on whether they support or oppose the Elena Kagan nomination. Organizations can also remain neutral if they feel that the information ascertained from these documents is unrevealing as to Kagan’s positions. Currently, AAPD is reviewing the documents provided by the Clinton library and will soon made a decision as to whether it should support, oppose or remain neutral on the Elena Kagan nomination.

The second issue I have been researching is the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) and its potential Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations. GINA protects employee privacy by limiting employer’s access to their employee’s genetic information. GINA prohibits employers from requesting, requiring or purchasing their employee’s genetic information and from inquiring into the medical conditions of their employees’ family members. However, GINA provides an exception to employers who engage in wellness programs where the employee provides the genetic information voluntarily. I have been researching the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, along with GINA, to help establish AAPD’s position on the act and on the potential EEOC regulations.

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