Healthcare & the Midterm Elections: Everything You Need to Know


Republicans almost certainly will maintain control of the House, and have roughly 60% odds of gaining Senate control – 70% if independent Maine Senator Angus King agrees to caucus with Republicans. Republican leadership of the Senate would likely bring the medical device tax repeal measure to the floor; on-record non-binding votes indicate the measure would pass – thus a Republican Senate obviously is good for Medical Devices

A Republican Senate also raises the odds of a repeal vote on the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or ‘IPAB’. An IPAB repeal is further enabled by the fact that latest projections indicate no budget savings from IPAB before 2024 – which means Congress can for the first time repeal IPAB without having to find other sources of savings (so called ‘pay-fors’) the IPAB would have delivered. If IPAB is repealed Medical Devices and Biotech dodge a bullet – since IPAB almost certainly would give CMS permanent pricing authority over branded drugs and devices used by Medicare beneficiaries under Parts A and B

Eight of the states that have not yet expanded Medicaid are likely to lean at least a little bit more away from ‘R’ and toward ‘D’ following the midterm – which raises the odds these states choose to participate in the Medicaid expansion following the election. Hospitals are the obvious beneficiaries, particularly HCA and THC, who have large percentages of their total beds in these states

Away from the election, but still fair game in the context of ‘R’ vs. ‘D’ battles over healthcare, legal challenges to the federal government’s ability to give health insurance subsidies to persons buying coverage on federally managed exchanges (i.e. in states that did not build their own exchange) appear destined for the Supreme Court. Contrary to the conventional wisdom if plaintiffs win, instead of beneficiaries on federally managed exchanges being denied subsidies, we see the states in question being forced by their own citizens to operate exchanges. Consider that in these states, the number of persons currently receiving federal subsidies to buy health insurance outnumber teachers 2:1, and the average subsidy is $265/month

For our full research notes, please visit our published research site

Print Friendly, PDF & Email