The House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Health Subcommittee held a hearing on banning the use of the Quality-Adjusted Life Year (QALY) in Federal health programs. The Protecting Health Care for All Patients Act (H.R.485) was recently reintroduced by Chairwoman Rodgers (R-WA-05): the Chairwoman of the full E&C Committee and a longtime champion of this legislation. The QALY is a value assessment utilized by insurance companies and Medicaid to determine if covering a treatment is worth it. The problem with this is that the baseline metric is a perfectly healthy person. Meaning, the system is inherently biased against disabled people and people with rare and chronic illnesses, and they have a much harder time receiving equal treatment as a result.
Patients Rising Now strongly supported this legislation in previous sessions of Congress and will continue its support. As part of this, Patients Rising Now submitted a letter of support for the legislation to the E&C Committee. Additionally, Patients Rising CEO Terry Wilcox was the first quote in the Committee’s press release regarding the hearing. Supporting a QALY ban would go a long way for increasing patient access to care, and you can help! There is a campaign on the Patient Action Center where you can send a letter to your Representative urging their support on a QALY ban. Be sure to send a letter today!