October 26, 2018

In This Issue
Fast Facts
Trump Administration Issues HRA Proposed Rule
State Spotlight: Trump Administration Grants Greater State Flexibility through Section 1332 Waivers
Healthcare Happy Hour: BAN’s Perry Braun Joins NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein for 2019 Industry Predictions
Trump Administration Seeks to Reduce Prescription Drug Prices to International Levels
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HUPAC Roundup: Polls Narrow as Partisan Tensions Increase
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HUPAC Roundup: Polls Narrow as Partisan Tensions Increase

With just over a week to go until Election Day, the Senate battleground has decreased considerably, with most races now “solidified.” Democrats are maintaining their lead over GOP opponents for the House, but this lead is increasingly narrow as GOP candidates have improved in the polls over the last few weeks, and a shift of just a few points could make a difference in many races. Events like the Kavanaugh confirmation or “migrant caravan” are likely explanations for the sudden rallying of Trump’s base. However, most analysts maintain their predictions that Democrats will score a lead in the House and Republicans will keep their Senate majority.

Senator Claire McCaskill’s race is in a statistical tie with Republican Josh Hawley, which places her in as vulnerable of a spot as Senator Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota. Previously McCaskill has relied on key population centers in her state, like St. Louis and Kansas City, and just enough votes in rural areas to defeat her Republican opponent. But this strategy may not ensure her victory this cycle. Many rural voters do not believe that McCaskill is still a moderate representative, citing her votes against President Trump’s Supreme Court nominations. On the other hand, progressive voters in the state believe that McCaskill does not represent them well; many progressive women of the state resent that the Senator has not strongly backed abortion rights. McCaskill has been fighting to build support in rural areas with the time she has remaining.

Environmental issues are starting to take shape in several states. In Florida, where climate and public health are pervasive factors in daily life, these issues might make an impact in the upcoming elections. Responses to the toxic algae blooms that crowd the beaches and waterways, and the recent hurricanes have drawn criticism against Governor Rick Scott, who is running for Senate against Bill Nelson. Critics have been quick to dismiss the governor’s hurricane preparations as inadequate, and to note that Scott cut water management efforts by $700 million since 2011. Supporters and spokespeople for Scott say that the governor is focused on solutions, and that he has allocated $300 million for flood and coastal relief. Pollution and climate concerns are less likely to sway voters in other states however, where the situation is not dire.

In healthcare news this week, Democrats remain unmoved on these issues, and recently Priorities USA Action, the largest Democratic super PAC, launched a TV campaign ad targeting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The campaign highlights the senator’s comments that entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare are to blame for the rising federal debt, and not the decade’s worth of tax cuts. Democrats are seizing on these comments, highlighting to their base the healthcare themes that they have been stressing for months. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took the opportunity to respond to the comments in a letter to her colleagues, urging them to stay focused on healthcare, especially pre-existing conditions.

Did you know...
...HUPAC is a bi-partisan political action committee. We support Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike. It is not the party affiliation we look at, but rather are they supporters of agents and brokers. The R or D in front of their name does not always tell the full story. There are Republicans who would like to dismantle the employer-based system for health insurance and put a lot of agents and brokers out of work and there are Democrats who support a single-payer system that would also put agents and brokers out of work. Instead, we look at members of Congress and candidates who have expressed their support for private sector solutions in healthcare and co-sponsored legislation that is supportive of our legislative agenda. Click here to support the PAC today.

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