Massachusetts Medical Society: Quick Takeaways from the Midterm Election

Quick Takeaways from the Midterm Election

Health care played a critical role in the November election, which brought about shifts that have huge implications for the 116th legislative session. Democrats won 40 seats in the House of Representatives — for a total of 235 seats, their highest number in a decade — taking back the majority. The new “freshman class” of Congress is the most inclusive of women and racial minorities in history. Meanwhile, Republicans deepened their control of the Senate.

In 2019, Washington, DC, will be even more contentiously divided than before the midterms, a manifestation of the intensifying urban-rural political divide in the US. Areas for potential cooperation include transparency of prescription drug pricing and infrastructure reform.

The Massachusetts congressional delegation is welcoming two new members, Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley (the first African American House representative from Massachusetts) and Lori Trahan. The delegation also took additional leadership positions. Congresswoman Katherine Clark was elected vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, likely making her the second-highest ranking woman in the caucus. Congressman Richard Neal will chair the influential Ways and Means Committee, and Congressman Jim McGovern will chair the House Rules Committee, which determines the ground rules for moving bills to the floor of the House.

See the February issue of Vital Signs for analysis of the election and its implications for health care.

Congresswomen-Elect Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts (far left), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York (second left), Ilhan Omar of Minnesota (center), and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan (right) are among incoming House representatives
Congresswomen-Elect Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts (far left), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York (second left), Ilhan Omar of Minnesota (center), and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan (right) are among incoming House representatives. Photo from Rashida Tlaib.
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