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Midterm Elections: Governor Wolf and Senator Casey Reelected, Dozens of New Lawmakers Head to Harrisburg, Washington, D.C.

November 07, 2018

In a much-anticipated midterm election that featured high voter turnout, Pennsylvanians yesterday elected Governor Tom Wolf (D) to another four-year term with new Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman (D).

While returns still are being tabulated for one state Senate seat in the Southeast and a handful of state House of Representatives seats are also still too close to call, HAP is gearing up to ensure the wave of new elected officials are educated on and prepared to tackle issues important to the health care community. With retirements alone, there were 24 open seats up for grabs in the House of Representatives and three in the Senate. These numbers do not include members running for higher office, seats open due to other circumstances or incoming freshman who have defeated incumbents.

The dynamic in Washington, D.C. will shift with a Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and a deeper Republican majority in the U.S. Senate. It is likely the chambers will look to build consensus on tackling rising drug prices, continued efforts to address the opioid epidemic, and making new investments in infrastructure. Differing approaches between the House, Senate, and the Administration will be pronounced with respect to policies to preserve coverage gains stemming from the Affordable Care Act and to confront the affordability of health care.

Pennsylvania’s newly elected federal delegation will include a number of returning lawmakers that have supported the priorities of Pennsylvania hospitals—including U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D)—and incoming freshman lawmakers that are poised to be effective representatives on behalf of the hospital community.

Of historical significance, the Pennsylvania delegation will include four women—Madeleine Dean (D, PA–04), Mary Gay Scanlon (D, PA–05), Chrissy Houlahan (D, PA–06), and Susan Wild (D, PA–07).

Two of the incoming lawmakers—Congresswoman-Elect Dean and Congressman-Elect Guy Reschenthaler (R, PA–14)—bring with them legislative experience from serving in the state. Backgrounds in health care will help inform Congressmen-Elect Dr. John Joyce (R, PA–13) and Dan Meuser (R, PA–09).

Andy Carter, HAP president and CEO, congratulated the winners in a statement to the media, adding, “We look forward to working together to find collaborative solutions to address the opioid epidemic; to ensure access to affordable, comprehensive health care coverage; and to build a healthier Pennsylvania.”

The new faces in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C. will be inundated with many new issues, health care being one of them. HAP will work with new and returning policymakers and their staff to communicate Pennsylvania hospitals’ advocacy agenda, getting to the heart of the issues that matter most to the hospital community.

For more information, contact Laura Stevens Kent, HAP’s vice president, federal advocacy, or Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy.

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