3 ways 2018 midterms could affect healthcare

Alyssa Rege - Print  | 

While the ACA won't be on the ballot during the midterm elections in November, the fate of the Obama-era law may be re-examined depending on which political party gains control of Congress, NPR reports.

Here are three things to know about healthcare and the midterms:

1. In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Republican strategist Karl Rove referred to healthcare as the "sleeper issue" of the 2018 midterm elections. Both parties have already begun re-examining their efforts on healthcare: Democrats have said if they gain a majority in Congress, they plan to probe the Trump administration on the issue, while Republican candidates have largely backed away from healthcare as an overarching issue while campaigning ahead of the midterms.

2. A strategist for the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks campaign ads, told NPR that "Democrats have been laser-focused on healthcare this year," which is a mirror image of past election cycles. Previous campaign seasons saw Republicans produce a host of ads attacking the ACA while Democrats stayed largely quiet, the report states.

"Regardless of how Americans feel about the Affordable Care Act, there are provisions of it that are very popular," the strategist told NPR. "Once it became clear that those provisions are in trouble, I think that has sort of changed the landscape of how politicians will talk about it this cycle."

3. Regardless of which party gains control of Congress next year, it is likely the Trump administration will continue to chip away at the ACA legislation.

"What you're likely to see is much greater and even fierce oversight of the administration's efforts to change — and many would say undermine [the ACA]," Drew Altman, PhD, president and CEO of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, told NPR.

To access the full report, click here.

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