In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the day-to-day challenges facing autistic people and their families.
People with autism and other disabilities have faced discrimination in organ transplants. and the availability of ventilators.
Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) today 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 legislative hearing on February 1, 2023 titled: “Lives Worth Living: Addressing the Fentanyl Crisis, Protecting Critical Lifelines, and Combating 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,” said Rodgers. “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.
Rodgers was joined in leading this legislation by House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith (R-MO), as well as GOP Doctors Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Brad Wenstrup, D.P.M. (R-OH) and Rep. Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-TX).
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.