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SPECIAL ALERT: Election Analysis and Impact on Health Care Policy

Executive Summary

The Republican Party won the Presidency and maintained control of the United States Congress, with businessman Donald J. Trump (R) winning the Presidential election to become the 45th President of the United States. Donald J. Trump (R) defeated Hillary Clinton (D) in the Electoral College but not the popular vote. Overall, President-elect Trump won 279 electoral votes to Secretary Clinton’s 228.  The popular vote totaled 59,623,049 votes for Secretary Clinton, while Mr. Trump received 59,418,103 votes (a difference of 204,946 votes). Secretary Clinton raised $1.3 billion and President-elect Trump raised $795 million, respectively, for their presidential campaigns— equating to a whopping $2.1 billion Presidential race.

In the Congressional races, Senate Republicans maintained their control of the chamber with 51 members, with one race still undetermined (Louisiana). While House Democrats made some gains, adding a net of six seats in the United States House of Representatives as of this writing, Republicans retained control of the chamber with at least 238 seats to their party. Republicans now control the Executive branch and the Legislative branch for the first time since 2005-2006 in the 109th Congress during the presidency of George W. Bush.

Net Changes in the 115th Congress & Governors SenateHouseGovernorsRepublicans 51 (-1)238 (-6)34 (+3)Democrats46 (+2)193 (+6)15 (-3)Independents2* (same)01

*Sens. Angus King (I-ME) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) currently caucus with the Democrats. Senate: Louisiana results still being determined, and are not included. House: Results for California Districts 7, 25, and 49, and Louisiana Districts 3 and 4 are still being determined and are not included. Governors: The result in North Carolina is still being determined and is not reflected by this table. Republicans are in red text, Democrats are in blue text, Independents are in purple text.

Republicans lost Senator Mark Kirk’s seat in Illinois.  Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth won this seat, making her the only bilateral amputee in the Senate and a strong supporter of the O&P policy agenda.  At the time of this writing, Republicans have held on to at least 51 seats in the chamber. Of the 34 Senate races, the following twelve races were, at most times during 2016, the most competitive:

Most Competitive Senate RacesStateElectedDefeatedArizonaJohn McCain (R)*Ann Kirkpatrick (D)ColoradoMichael Bennet (D)*Darryl Glenn (R)FloridaMarco Rubio (R)*Patrick Murphy (D)IllinoisTammy Duckworth (D)Mark Kirk (R)*IndianaTodd Young (R)Evan Bayh (D)LouisianaTBDTBDMissouriRoy Blunt (R)*Jason Kander (D)New HampshireMaggie Hassan (D)Kelly Ayotte (R)*North CarolinaRichard Burr (R)*Deborah Ross (D)NevadaCatherine Cortez Masto (D)Joe Heck (R)OhioRob Portman (R)*Ted Strickland (D)PennsylvaniaPatrick Toomey (R)*Katie McGinty (D)WisconsinRon Johnson (R)*Russ Feingold (D)

Results from Louisiana are to be determined (TBD); Louisiana is scheduled to hold a runoff vote on December 10, 2016. Republicans are in red text, Democrats are in blue text. * Incumbent.

Potential Impact of Elections on the Lame Duck Session

The House and Senate reconvene the week of November 14 for a week of business, followed by a week off and then a two-week session leading up to the December 9 expiration of federal funding. Current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and current Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) have stated that they would like to address the annual appropriations bills, and seek to pass the 21st Century Cures/Innovation for Healthier Americans legislative packages surrounding medical innovation. This may provide some opportunity to try to amend some of the O&P legislation we have been promoting to legislation that is otherwise moving through Congress.  However, the legislative climate surrounding the health care innovation package and all legislation remains uncertain, as the smoke clears from the election.

Throughout the presidential campaign, candidate Donald J. Trump repeatedly stated that he will seek to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Whether a Republican-led House and Senate will repeal the ACA, engage in negotiations for significant reform, or completely replace the ACA with their vision for health care reform remains in question.  President-elect Trump’s vision for action on the ACA borrows heavily from the Republican Party’s Platform and House Speaker Ryan’s healthcare blueprint published this past summer entitled, “A Better Way.”

Who will lead the Department of Health and Human Services under the Trump Administration is another question on which speculation is already rampant.  Who is chosen to lead HHS promises to more fully inform the direction a Trump Administration would take on health care issues.  Candidates most often mentioned include Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; former Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon; and Florida Governor, Rick Scott.  But, there is also speculation that a health care business leader could also be a logical choice for Trump to make given his statements on running our country more like a business.


Few predicted the wave that swept Donald Trump to the Presidency and limited the losses in both the House and Senate for Republicans.  There are many details that will emerge in the coming months that will signal how President-elect Trump plans to proceed on health care issues, and NAAOP will inform its members and friends as developments occur.

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