Those of us who have experienced life-threatening illnesses or chronic health conditions are used to putting up with challenges and frustrations that people in perfect health don’t have to deal with. However, no matter what disease might challenge us, we don’t consider ourselves to be worth less than anyone else.

Unfortunately, some influential players in health care policy disagree.

An organization named ICER — the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review — is making major waves with its new method of determining health care “value.” Specifically, it is developing “value frameworks” that could be used to cap or reduce the amount of care patients receive if a treatment is deemed too expensive.

ICER has just released a draft report about treatment for multiple myeloma, a rare cancer. In a few months, it will publish a similar assessment on lung cancer, one of the most prevalent cancers in the United States. Medicare has already suggested that ICER’s approaches could become a benchmark for how it pays for drugs.

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