The midterms are over and it’s time to get back to discussing issues that impact Americans on a daily basis. Things like health care and, specifically how to reduce costs.

President Trump has made lowering the cost of prescription drugs one of his priorities.

It seems to be a bipartisan cause, and all ideas should be on the table. Except One: rationing care to the sickest and oldest patients. 

Yet this dystopian scenario is exactly what a Boston-based organization called the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review is recommending as a way to reduce health care costs.

ICER uses a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether patients should have access to medications their doctors prescribe. These are often life-saving and life-extending drugs. The framework they use is called quality of life-adjusted year (QALY).

QALY is a complicated economic model that attempts to determine the extent to which a given medical treatment extends and improves lifespans. In other words, it determines whether a patient is worth covering after a certain price threshold.

CONTINUE READING: This opinion piece is authored by our co-founder and executive director of public policy, Terry Wilcox, and published in The Boston Globeon December 17th, 2018.