December 3, 2018

Wrap-up and Look Ahead from the 2018 Midterm Elections

Chadd K. Kraus, DO, DrPH, MPH, FACEP
YPS Immediate Past Chair

The 2018 mid-term elections were historic, with almost half of eligible voters casting ballots (the highest number since the mid-1960s) and Democrats gaining the most seats for the party in the U.S. House of Representatives in a midterm since the mid-1970s. Republicans, meanwhile, maintained control of the U.S. Senate. At the state level, the Democrats earned seven gubernatorial gains. During all of the elections, health care topics were front and center.

When the new Congress convenes in Washington in January 2019, a range of healthcare issues impacting emergency medicine will be on the agenda. Insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions as outlined in the Affordable Care Act, pharmaceutical prices, and out-of-network billing will be just a few of the items facing the 116th Congress. Many of these same issues, as well as Medicaid expansion and Medicaid work requirements, will be priorities in state legislatures and governor's mansions across the country. The outcomes of these legislative efforts will have a huge impact on emergency medicine.

So, how can you help impact these critical health care issues for our patients and our specialty?

  1. Engage with your ACEP chapter to participate in grassroots efforts to educate and influence your local and state legislatures.
  2. Donate to NEMPAC so that emergency medicine continues to be represented by elected officials who understand how healthcare legislation and regulation impacts access for our patients and how good legislation allows us to continue to provide quality emergency care for our communities.
  3. Attend ACEP's next Leadership & Advocacy Conference in May 2019 in Washington, D.C., where you can hone your leadership skills and visit Capitol Hill with your EM colleagues.

A call to action for my fellow YPS members: Let's make our post-election participation as historic as the 2018 midterms!