Health care has been cited in polls of races around the country as the top issue of concern to voters. Specifically, loss of health insurance coverage due to preexisting conditions has been a focus of numerous political ads. The outcome of the elections and the impact that the health care issue plays will have a major impact on the health care agenda in the new Congress.
Control of the House of Representatives appears to have become more competitive as the mid-term election approaches. Democrats, once considered prohibitive favorites to capture the majority, have seen the political winds shift to a more competitive environment. Democrats need to gain 23 seats to capture the majority and they are not short on opportunities. According to the respected Cook Political Report, Republicans are defending 95 competitive seats while Democrats are only defending 13 such seats. Of the 31 seats considered in the most competitive category, 30 are in Republican hands. Many political analysts, however, are retreating from predictions of a “blue wave” on November 6 and are now predicting that, assuming Democrats win the majority, it will be by only a low single digit number of seats. If political winds continue to shift toward the Republicans it is possible that Democrats could come up short.
The situation in the Senate is becoming clearer. Democrats began the election cycle at a significant disadvantage, having to defend 26 seats to just nine for Republicans. Ten of the states Democrats are trying to protect were won by Donald Trump in 2016. Cook rates nine seats overall as the most competitive including five Democratic seats and four Republicans. Three Democrats are in the second most competitive category whereas no other Republican seats are considered competitive. While virtually no political pundits see a pathway for Democrats to capture the majority in the Senate, most predictions have Republicans picking up between one to three seats. A Republican majority could well be short lived, however, as Republicans must defend 21 seats in 2020 while the Democrats will need to protect 11.
It is not too late for you to help make an impact on the 2018 elections! By giving to AGA PAC you can help elect new champions of GI to Congress. With so many retirements and incumbents expected to lose their races we have a great opportunity to reshape Congress by electing allies of our profession and our patients. Please donate to AGA PAC now.