Labor Law Guy

What’s a QALY and What’s It Got to Do With You?

Posted in Random Musings by laborlawguy on August 19, 2009

Short answer to the second question: Plenty.

QALY stands for “Quality-Adjusted Life Year,” and it’s a concept used in British health care to determine if you’ll be allowed a certain treatment.

Say a certain operation will award you with one additional QALY, the National Health System (NHS) will pay up to £30,000 for that treatment. And no, QALY’s are not cumulative. If the treatment results in five QALY’s, you still get just £30,000 (a tad under $50,000) for your health care.

If that’s not enough to fund the operation, you get to live (or die) with whatever ails you.

The faceless bureaucratic agency that thus assigns death to British citizens goes by the impossibly oxymoronic acronym of NICE (National Institute of Clinical Effectiveness).

What’s all this got to do with you, an American?

Again the short answer: Plenty.

The reason for this is that Obama and his health care cronies/advisers are enamored of both QALY and NICE and will implement them here no matter how much they deny rationing of health care is under consideration. Just read the books by Obama’s main men in health care reform–Tom Daschle and Zeke Emanuel (yes, brother of Chief of Staff Rahm)–and you’ll see the heartlessness with which they intend to treat the elderly.

Except for their loved ones and themselves, of course, as they’ll set up a two-tiered health care system–one for the populace (we taxpaying scum) and the other for the high and mighty in government and their cronies: Nationalized, rationed medicine for us; privatized, gilt-edged care for them.

Change we can truly believe in.


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