One would think it’s impossible to put a dollar sign on the value of a human life. But, up until today, there were 5 states that did this specifically for people with cystic fibrosis. It’s good news that today, HB 2587 passed in Oklahoma and was approved by the governor, effectively taking the pricetag off the lives of this segment of the population.
“An elderly or disabled person will not be billed extra or be blocked from receiving health care because of high costs in Oklahoma, after passage of anti-discrimination legislation.
On Friday, Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, approved the “Nondiscrimination in Health Care Coverage” Act, which would prevent a state agency from using age, chronic illness, or ability from determining a reimbursement cost to a provider for medical services.
On Thursday, the Oklahoma Senate sent the act to the governor’s desk in a 38-6 vote. The bill’s text recognizes historic prejudice in state formulas used to reimburse healthcare providers for services to the old, infirm, and disabled.”
HB 2587 had to do with the QALY system, which is “a generic measure of disease burden, including both the quality and the quantity of life lived. It is used in economic evaluation to assess the value of medical interventions.” In other words, it’s a rather barbaric math equation that scientists created to determine, for other people, whether their lives were worth living.
Instituting the QALY system opens the door to rationed healthcare, i.e. picking and choosing who gets care and who doesn’t based on pre-existing health. More or less, it’s health discrimination – healthy people are prioritized because unhealthy people’s lives are deemed less valuable.
This change in Oklahoma is a big victory for all with disabilities, pre-existing conditions, and other diseases that would’ve otherwise impacted their ability to seek medical attention.
Read more about the issues with healthcare rationing in this op ed by SFLA president, Kristan Hawkins.