The following commentary originally appeared in Fox News Politics on FoxNews.com, the website of the Fox News Channel:

House Democrats and a number of privacy advocacy groups came out against a House GOP-sponsored bill that would reportedly make it easier for employers to gain access to genetic information about their employees and their families.

The New York Times reported Friday that the bill– called the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act–  may also significantly increase the costs if someone chooses not to participate in a company wellness program that requires the genetic information.

Fortune magazine summed up the bill: it “would essentially allow companies with workplace wellness programs to demand your genetic information (or force you to pay a big penalty.)”

The bill was introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., the chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. The bill reportedly passed its first test in a committee vote that went straight down party line. The bill is still under review by other House committees.

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