Missing from Election: Healthcare Reform, But . . .

2022.11.18 Voting_location_in_Alabama_during_2017_election

Healthcare reform did not make the list of top voter issues in the November 2022 midterm elections. Abortion did make the list, especially for women, Democrats, young voters, and non-white voters. But abortion was not just about healthcare – voters saw it as an economic issue, a women’s empowerment issue, and more broadly a legal rights issue.

That said, healthcare reform is not going away. This blog provides a sample of emerging news stories that make the point.

  • Sanders (I-VT) and Cassidy (R-LA) to lead Senate Health Committee. Sen. Bernie Sanders is an outspoken advocate for Medicare-for-All and for drug price caps. Cassidy, a medical doctor, prioritizes surprise medical bills. In 2017 he spearheaded the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.
  • FTX cryptocurrency collapse puts pandemic preparedness projects on hold. FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11 putting a halt to the $70 million already spent and billions more pledged on pandemic research and prevention.
  • Lame duck Congress is wrangling over COVID relief funds and Medicaid coverage for new mothers. The Biden Administration seeks $10 billion for ongoing COVID vaccines and treatments. It seeks to make permanent the mandatory Medicaid coverage for 12 months post delivery.
  • House and Senate Republicans propose funding changes to Medicare. For example, House Republicans propose raising age of eligibility to 67. Sen. Rick Scott’s “11-Point Plan” proposes sunsetting Medicare and Social Security every 5 years, requiring re-authorization. Medicare is projected to be insolvent by 2028. The Washington Post gave a “4 Pinocchios” rating to Sen. Patty Murray’s claim ahead of the election that Republicans were trying to “end Medicare.”
  • Oregon passes Measure 111 healthcare amendment. By a narrow margin Oregonians added to the state constitution a right to affordable healthcare.

Meanwhile, NHE grew 9.7% to $4.1 trillion in 2020, or $12,530 per person, and accounted for 19.7% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to CMS.

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Image Credit

Title: Voting location in Alabama in 2017 Election

By: Terri Sewell, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Voting_location_in_Alabama_during_2017_election.jpg

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