Republicans in the House of Representatives, led by Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Banks, will introduce a RSC bill later Thursday banning all federal programs from using a healthcare rationing formula.
Conservatives have long argued that the formula, known as Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs), discriminates against the elderly and disabled. The QALY takes into account age, disease burden, and quality of life when considering healthcare treatment, and is used in every federal program except Medicare. It received widespread attention during the debates about Obamacare and death panels.
The Protecting Health Care for All Patients Act, also co-sponsored by Doctors’ Caucus Chairman Brad Wenstrup of Ohio, bans all federal programs from using QALYs. They are currently used by all federal programs except Medicare. (RELATED: House Votes To Abolish Obamacare Board That Conservatives Called A ‘Death Panel’)
Read the bill here:
“When the government uses QALYs it means a health care bureaucracy can coldly and mercilessly determine someone’s life is worth less. Countries that use them discriminate against people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, including people with cystic fibrosis, ALS, and people like my son Cole who has Down syndrome. The most vulnerable are sent to the back of the line for treatment because the government says their lives aren’t valuable enough for care,” McMorris Rodgers told the Daily Caller.
“Republicans belong to the party of life. This includes all life, from conception to natural death. Our important legislation promotes the dignity and value of each human being by ensuring that government bureaucrats can’t arbitrarily decide that some lives have more value than others. As Democrats continue to push a socialist ideology that has no regard for the most vulnerable, it is more important than ever for House Republicans to permanently end this harmful metric,” Banks added.
The formula ranks each year on a scale from zero to one, with one signaling a perfectly healthy year and zero signaling dead. Medical ethicists are sharply divided on its use, with proponents claiming that it allows medical providers to more easily choose a path of treatment for patients and care for the greatest number of people. Opponents, on the other hand, argue that the use of QALYs leads to discrimination against the disabled, including limiting their access to life-saving treatments and drugs.