Dear Friends and Colleagues,
As the dust settles on this week’s election, it is important for the bleeding disorders community to look forward, accept the challenges and opportunities that are ahead, and recognize our strength and past success in advocacy. Healthcare will continue to be an active issue in Washington, DC, and we count on you to engage with NHF in advocacy efforts on behalf of our community.
Here’s what we know about President-Elect Trump’s health policy platform: He has pledged to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but details of how this would be done are not clear. He has also supported changing Medicaid to give states a set sum of money and more flexibility about how to administer their programs. The few other health policy issues Trump campaigned on were allowing health insurance to be sold across state lines and lowering drug costs by allowing drugs to be imported from other countries.
Congressional Outlook: Any ACA policy changes will require cooperation and action by Congress, which in 2017 will look much like it did this year. As of today, the House will be composed of 239 Republicans and 193 Democrats; the Senate will have 51 Republicans and 48 Democrats (the Louisiana Senate race is still not settled). The close margin in the Senate will require legislation to be bipartisan, since 60 votes will be needed to end a filibuster and advance any bill there.
This all means that a wholesale repeal of every provision of the ACA is very unlikely, though significant changes will be considered. NHF actively advocated for the many patient protections that were included in ACA: the removal of lifetime and annual caps in insurance policies, and prohibition of pre-existing conditions exclusions. Based on Congressional support for these provisions, these protections that have greatly benefitted our community will likely stand.
The Strength of the Bleeding Disorders Community Endures. Our most important message is a reminder that our community has successfully advocated for issues of importance with both Democratic and Republican administrations, and we have champions on both sides of the aisle. NHF’s public policy team and chapters will continue their advocacy work for the community. But, we need you too! Join NHF for its Washington Days advocacy event on March 8-10, 2017. We will be releasing more information about registration and our Washington Days priorities in coming weeks.
Our community is composed of the strongest, most dedicated people and advocates around. We feel confident in our ability to meet any challenges working together.
Chief Executive Officer
National Hemophilia Foundation