House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith (R-MO), and GOP Doctors Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Brad Wenstrup, D.P.M. (R-OH), and Rep. Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), announced introduction of H.R. 485, the Protecting Health Care for All Patients Act, which would expand access to lifesaving cures and prevent discrimination against Americans with disabilities. The House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Health will consider the bill at a February 1, 2023, legislative hearing titled: "Lives Worth Living: Addressing the Fentanyl Crisis, Protecting Critical Lifelines, and Combatting Discrimination Against Those with Disabilities."
"All lives are worth living. It's unconscionable that a health care bureaucracy would so callously determine that someone's life is worth less. They deserve every chance to have hope and reach their full potential. The "quality-adjusted life years' measurement is used to discriminate against people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, like cystic fibrosis, ALS, or Down syndrome, putting them at the back of the line for treatment. Moving this legislation will be a priority for our committee," said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
"Washington bureaucrats have no business picking and choosing which Americans are worthy of receiving treatment for serious, and often life-threatening, health issues," said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith. "The "quality-adjusted life years' measurement is discriminatory, morally bankrupt, and has no place in our health care system. I'm proud to join Chair Rodgers and Congressmen Burgess and Wenstrup in this effort to halt the government's shameless attempt to decide if someone's life is worth living."
"I practiced as an Ob/Gyn for nearly 30 years. During that time, I treated each patient as a human being, not just a diagnosis. Quality-Adjusted Life Year (QALY) measurements are cruel and inhibit physicians' ability to care for and treat all patients with dignity. The government should never have the ability to decide the value of a life to approve or deny care. All human life has inherent value and should be treated as such," said Rep. Michael Burgess, M.D.
"I am proud to join my colleagues to introduce legislation that stops the use of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) in Federal programs. QALY measurements put a dollar value on a person's life, often devaluing the lives of those with chronic illnesses and disabilities. As a physician, I believe it is vitally important that our health care system values all lives and ensures that every person is treated with dignity," said Rep. Brad Wenstrup, D.P.M.
H.R. 485 would prohibit the use of quality adjusted life years (QALYs) in all federal programs--an expansion from the current prohibition that only applies in a limited fashion to the Medicare program.
The controversial metric intentionally devalues treatments for disabled individuals and those with chronic illnesses for purposes of determining whether the treatment is cost-effective enough to be paid for by the federal government. The use of QALYs is a clear form of discrimination. The bill would also prohibit the importation of price-controls from countries that use QALYs, which are a socialist trademark of government-run health insurance programs.