The 2018 midterm elections have come and gone with many new changes. A few races are still too close to call. Democrats, as expected, gained control of the House with 221 seats (218 needed for majority) and Republicans secured 197 seats. Republicans hold the Senate with 51 seats and the Democrats have 43 seats.
View the results here.
What Does This Mean for Healthcare & Brokers?
Voting analytics determined that 41 percent of the country considered healthcare to be the number one issue to voters during the midterms. As the results would indicate, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will not be repealed. However, the President can still issue Executive Orders impacting the ACA.
States with new governors will maintain control over Association Health Plans (AHP), 1332 waivers and limited duration health plans. In states where new Democratic governors were elected, there is a probability that Medicaid will continue to expand. Utah, Nebraska and Idaho voted for the expansion even though the statehouses remained Republican.
Although touted by many as a good alternative to our current system of healthcare, “Medicare for All” will likely stall as the Senate and Executive Branch have already indicated. With Congress split for the next two years, we anticipate a certain amount of gridlock that will hinder the passage of new laws. There will be a few areas where both parties can work in a bipartisan fashion, specifically on prescription drug pricing. Finding ways to control the cost and promoting transparency of many of these drugs has ignited both sides to work together.
As Congress returns from recess next week, both parties will engage in selecting leadership for the ensuing term. Democrats will again select Speaker of the House and the rest of the leadership team. House committees that deal with healthcare and health insurance will select new chairs as well.
We suspect legislation will be reintroduced to repeal the Cadillac tax, HIT tax, and the employer mandate, as well as easing some of the employer reporting regulations and addressing Medicare and COBRA issues.