Last month, a global stock market sell-off sent the S&P 500 into dangerous waters, having analysts discussing potential bear market climates but stocks rallied this week and healthcare was leading the numbers following the midterm elections.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) released an analysis today regarding the effects midterm election could have on healthcare now that Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives. The analysis claims Democrat wins will not stop the GOP’s healthcare crusade, but will slow it, although they do not have much wiggle room for their own agendas.
PwC predicts Republicans will not have another go at repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but the Trump administration will continue to try and transform Medicaid by utilizing regulatory agencies.
The report reads, in part:
“After two years, the Trump administration’s approach to the health industry is relatively clear and predictable.”
Democrats will be controlling more gubernatorial seats compared to Republicans and as a result will have more reins when it comes to state Medicaid programs, unlikely to pursue the implementation of the Trump-approved work requirements. Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, and New Hampshire have approved waivers to implement these work requirements while Arizona is still pending approval.
Now that the Democrats have the House, PwC says federal agencies will begin to have more oversight and states will become battlefields for healthcare, especially states whose governors flipped political identification.
Last week President Trump tweeted a warning to voters saying, “if you want your Stocks to go down, I strongly suggest voting Democrat.”
So far, Democrats have taken the House and stocks seem to be fine, healthcare stocks specifically are soaring. Companies like Merck and Pfizer are climbing out of their troughs, and insurance giant UnitedHealth enjoyed an over 4 percent surge from their September highs, faring quite well post-October darkness
PwC is calling a more predictable two years in healthcare compared to the previous two.
Some of the big ticket policy issues payers will face in 2019:
• Greater adoption of Medicaid expansion
• Restrictions and scrutiny on short-term health insurance and association health plans
• Restoring MA quality bonuses
• Advancing alternative payment models
Many are the same issues providers will face in the coming year, which also includes Medicaid work requirement scrutiny and increased regulation of opioid prescriptions.
The analysis concluded with:
“The outcome of the midterm elections sets the stage for the continued battle over the role of the federal government in an industry that is integral to the lives of every American, and increasingly, to the health of millions around the globe. In November, more Americans voted for change, but the next two years may be more of a seamless transition from the previous two.”
Check out the full PwC analysis on their site.
Make sure to keep up with Arizona’s polls as the Senate race between McSally and Sinema continues and ballots are still being tallied.