Yesterday’s historic election saw the most voter turnout for a midterm ever in the United States, and today both Republicans and Democrats are claiming victory. While there are still many votes being counted and races still to be decided, it’s clear the Democrats have taken control of the House of Representatives and the Republicans have increased their majority in the Senate.
At this point, Democrats appear to have gained 30+ seats in the House of Representatives and Republicans will increase their Senate majority by three to five seats. This outcome was expected by many and was predicted by polling in recent weeks.
How will the shift in power impact employer-sponsored healthcare?
Quite frankly, employers should not expect much change in the next two years. Healthcare was certainly on the minds of many voters as it proved to be the most important thing to voters who were surveyed in yesterday’s exit polls. The Democrats made healthcare their primary campaign focus and talked quite frequently about protecting pre-existing conditions and the Affordable Care Act.
The challenge for Democrats with the new split government is that anything that they pass in the House will likely die in the Senate if there is even a hint of partisanship in the legislation. Our hope is that some of the existing bipartisan bills on the House and Senate floors that would benefit employers might get consideration in the coming lame duck session or even be re-introduced in the new Congress. To learn more about those bills and how they can help employers, listen to our recent webinar.
Over the next two years we can expect results similar to what we have seen in recent years. There will be quite a bit of noise coming from Washington about healthcare but, ultimately, it doesn’t appear that either party will be able to accomplish anything substantial. At Scott, we will continue to fight on behalf of our clients to pass legislation that will benefit employer-sponsored health care, eliminate reporting burdens, expand the use of health savings accounts and ease or eliminate some of potential taxes and fees employers across the country are facing related to their health plans.