Families USA: Misguided legislation could enable drug companies to further price gouge consumers - Families Usa Skip to Main Content
02.06.2024 / Statement

Families USA: Misguided legislation could enable drug companies to further price gouge consumers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yael Lehmann, Interim Executive Director of Families USA, issued the following statement on H.R. 485, which advanced the House Rules Committee yesterday and is expected to be considered on the House floor this week.

“While well-intentioned in its stated purpose to protect people with disabilities from discrimination in health care, H.R. 485 also includes broad language that is open to exploitation by big drug corporations and funding offsets that would have negative consequences for efforts to make health care more affordable for families.

“We support the bill’s prohibition on the use of Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALY), an economic tool which can be misused to value the life of a non-disabled person over the life of a disabled person and cause people with disabilities to face more disparities and inequities from the medical community.

“But in its current form, the legislation’s language also creates ambiguity that could prohibit using other necessary and non-discriminatory measures of health care value and cost effectiveness. This could create more opportunities for big drug corporations and other corporate health care interests to price gouge and exacerbate waste across the health care system – which could have even greater negative impacts for people with disabilities who consistently use medications and health care services. Additionally, we oppose this legislation being paid for from the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which was created to make critical national investments to improve health and restrain health care costs.

“To provide high value health and health care for all – including people with disabilities — we must ensure that any measure being used in health care decision-making can accurately capture the multifaceted lives of people living with disabilities and does not inadvertently undervalue their lives or experience.

“As a nation, we also need the capacity to assess the overall effectiveness and value of federally funded goods and services – in this case, ensuring the American people receive safe, effective, and affordable drugs. We do not believe H.R. 485 achieves that goal at this time; therefore, we cannot support its passage. We welcome the opportunity to continue working with the bill’s authors to make improvements.”



 Families USA, a leading national voice for health care consumers, is dedicated to the achievement of high quality, affordable health care and improved health for all.