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Health Care Legislation, the 2020 Election, and Beyond

Between now and the November 2020 election, Democrats and Republicans are unlikely to pass any legislation other than budget bills or other “must-pass” legislation. The sharpened rhetoric and hyperbole associated with the impeachment hearings taking place in the House are exacerbating this division.

Republicans will be defending 23 seats in 2020 (including special elections in Arizona and Georgia) versus the Democrats defending 12 seats. If Democrats were to pick up 4 of the Republican seats, they could change control of the Senate. This knowledge will make it challenging to pass any bills other than must-pass legislation, even in the Senate—including issues for which there have been bipartisan efforts to date, such as legislation to address “surprise medical bills” and, to a lesser extent, proposals to reduce the cost of prescription drugs.

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