November 2019 Political Checkpoint Webinar

On November 6, Leavitt Partners held its biannual Political Checkpoint webinar hosted by Health Intelligence Partners (HIP) and the Leavitt Partners’ Federal Insights and Advocacy team.

Governor Mike Leavitt and Vince Ventimiglia previewed Leavitt Partners’ 2020 presidential election scenarios and likely impact on health policy.

The three most likely election scenarios:

  1. Status Quo: The White House remains Republican with President Trump elected for a second term, the Senate remains Republican, and Democrats retain control of the House
  2. Democrat White House – Split Congress: A Democratic candidate is elected, the Senate remains Republican, and Democrats retain control of the House
  3. Democrat Dominance: A party switch in both White House and the Senate, while Democrats retain control of House

As health care weighs heavily on the minds of U.S. voters and drives bipartisan concern about costs and access, members of Congress remain divided over many of the high-profile issues. Thus, the next election is likely to have significant impacts on legislative and regulatory agendas starting with some areas of collaboration in 2020 while leaving many big issues for the 117th Congress starting in 2021.

Leavitt Partners’ Policy Framework

Leavitt Partners’ policy framework examines the potential impact that each of the three likely election scenarios could have on eight policy focus areas: Medicare, Medicaid, Value-based payment, digital health, public health and research, tax issues, commercial insurance, and FDA.

For example, under Medicare issues, Leavitt Partners experts anticipate that under any of the election scenarios, the administration would use The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to reduce Medicare drug reimbursement. However, action on Medicare Part D reform is likely only to happen in a Democrat Dominance scenario.

Over the next twelve months, Leavitt Partners will be updating these election scenarios based on polling and intelligence, working with clients to leverage the framework to sculpt the political fog and help them plan for success.

Highlights from the Webinar

  • At this point, Leavitt Partners experts believe the odds are slightly in favor of a Democratic candidate being elected for president, in favor of Republicans holding the Senate, and strongly in favor of Democrats holding the House, making the split scenario the most likely of the three. Notably, our audience agreed—when polled during the webinar, a majority of respondents chose the Split scenario as the most likely outcome.
  • Congressional gridlock is at a high point, exacerbated by the all-consuming nature of the impeachment proceedings; this will prevent much from happening in the congressional space in 2020. Greater action is expected from the executive branch as the administration attempts to clear the pipeline of finalized regulations before the lookback period of the Congressional Review Act.
  • There is no likely election outcome where a Medicare for All plan is likely to pass, given the unlikely chances (for any party) to secure 60 votes in the Senate. However, a pared-down bill with the similar intent of “Medicare for Some/More,” could move forward if Democrats control the White House, Senate, and House. The Medicare for All initiative should not be viewed solely as a pure policy proposal, but rather as a manifestation of the public anger and discontent with things like health care costs that have not found a resolution. Other issues such as surprise billing and pharmaceutical prices have been driven by similar public outcry, resulting in unexpected proposals from both sides of the aisle, tackling the same issue through differing approaches.

Despite the uncertainty in the political landscape, both election outcomes and impeachment proceedings, and the chances for economic turbulence, there are market strategies that will be important regardless of the outcomes. Over the course of 2020, Health Intelligence Partners (HIP) events will continue to help navigate the uncertainty, while helping clients plan for the future with “no matter what” strategies for data, value-based care, and improved access and affordability.

HIP is a membership-based community of health care leaders (e.g., industry leaders, strategists, innovators, enablers of change) seeking to understand, navigate, and thrive in the evolving health care economy. HIP supports clients seeking to identify trends and prepare for change. For more information on the HIP 2020 program, please click here. To learn more, please email [email protected].

The Leavitt Partners Federal Insights and Advocacy team combines expertise in policy, regulatory consulting, advocacy, and reimbursement and is respected for integrity, expertise, and a record of success. With vast Congressional and agency experience combined with deep policy expertise, the team is uniquely positioned to advise and inform clients on the impact of federal health care issues and how to effectively engage with federal policymakers. To learn more, please email [email protected]