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Yesterday's election results have a lot of impact on health care in the United States. The new Democratic House of Representatives and the ACA, expansion of Medicaid in red states, and medical and recreational marijuana are all affected by last nights returns.

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Big election last night in the United States, and perhaps the biggest news is what it means for healthcare. This is Healthcare Triage News.

[Intro]

First thing to note is that Democrats won in the House of Representatives. That means, at least for the next two years, there will be no repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act. More importantly, there have been some measures that have been put through the Senate that might actually sure-up the market, but they could never get approved in the House while it was under Republican control. That might happen now.

We can also expect some more oversight of Health and Human Services. This means some of the actions that the Trump administration has taken in the past few years, which Democrats didn't like, might now actually get some looking into. These could include changes to contraception coverage or abstinence-only education measures, or other things Democrats weren't so fond of but the Trump administration had been pushing on through.

But, the bigger news is Medicaid expansion. Three states, Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah, looked like they passed ballot measures to approve the Medicaid expansion. Those are red states. That's a big deal. It might mean like 300,000 more people getting Medicaid.

Other big news happens at the governor level. For instance, in Kansas, Laura Kelly beat Kris Kobach, whom she actually has promised that she's going to push through the Medicaid expansion. Given that Kansas has really tried to do that before, but it was stopped by the previous governor, looks like it might happen.

Or, take Maine, where Democrats not only won in the Governor's House, but also flipped the Senate, meaning they pretty much run the government. And, they're probably get a Medicaid expansion done, too.

In fact, I think Democrats flipped like 6 state legislatures, which means we might see real movement in terms of pushing the Medicaid expansion further in states which have previously denied it.

Utah and Missouri both passes medical marijuana laws. Amazing! And, Michigan made recreational marijuana legal, which is also a big step forward.

In Texas, Pete Sessions lost in his seat in Congress, and given that he was really one of the people stopping any kind of movement on marijuana in the House, it's possible we might actually see some laws concerning medical and/or recreational marijuana in the House in the next few years, as well.

One thing to watch for in the next few days, if not weeks, will be that case in Texas which was put in place to try to get rid of pre-existing conditions protections. A number of attorney generals, as we covered in the past, have been fighting that and the Trump administration had signed on. It was one of those things that made it very odd for Republicans to keep saying they were for pre-existing conditions protections, given that they were fighting this case in court. The judge has actually been sitting on the decision, likely. People think it might have been for political reason, but we don't know. But, expect action soon.

Regardless, this is all big news for the Affordable Care Act. it is definitely much more safe than it was just a few nights ago. For the next two years, it ain't getting repealed. It ain't getting replaced. Whether or not the Trump administration continues to try to move to make it sabotaged, we'll have to watch. 

[Outro]

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