Karen Kaplan’s August 18, Los Angeles Times article, U.S. military practices genetic discrimination in denying benefits, tells how the U.S. Military denies disability benefits to both active and veteran military personnel.
The problem began in 1999, when the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) decided that soldiers with a genetic predisposition for a disease will be denied benefits for that disease until they have served for a minimum of 8-years. The reasoning proffered is to discourage individuals with a probability of developing a congenital and/or hereditary condition from joining the services in order to receive medical and disability benefits when (and if) the disease develops.
Although someone might have a predisposition for an illness it is not always caused by genetic factors. For example, there is a genetic mutation carried in about 5% of Caucasians for developing blood clots, but individuals outside that genetic group can also develop blood clots in their legs (thrombophlebitis) after sitting for long periods. That is the main reason physicians recommend that you get up and stretch during long plane flights.
The situation has become so treacherous that some Army physicians recommend that soldiers refuse any and all genetic tests. In case the soldier thinks that he can by-pass the system by having a genetic test done through a civilian physician, they could easily find themselves in serious trouble. Turns out that a private genetic test violates military code and they could be court-martialed.