Health Care

On Health Care, Dems Go From Running to Baby Steps
Incremental measures will dominate action on the health law in a largely gridlocked Congress

House Democrats plan to bring administration officials to Capitol Hill to explain what critics call “sabotage” of the law’s insurance exchanges. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The midterm elections all but ended the Republican push to repeal the 2010 law known as Obamacare, but as a defining issue for Democrats in their takeover of the House, health care will likely remain near the top of lawmakers’ policy and political agenda.

Newly emboldened Democrats are expected to not only push legislation through the House, but use their majority control of key committees to press Trump administration officials on the implementation of the health law, Medicaid work requirements, and insurance that does not have to comply with Obamacare rules.

House Democratic Factions All See Gains After Midterms
Progressive Caucus, New Democrats, Blue Dogs tout their expanding ranks

Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairman Mark Pocan expects his group to see a net gain of 13 members, not counting the uncalled races. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The two largest ideology-based Democratic factions in the House — the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the New Democrat Coalition — are both projecting they’ll have more than 90 members next year after the party picked up over 30 seats in last week’s midterms.

The growth comes at a time when numbers will matter for these groups, more than they have for the past eight years when their party has been in the minority. With the House in their hands next year, Democrats will get to set the legislative agenda and control what bills come to the floor.

With Divided Congress, Health Care Action Hightails It to the States
Medicaid expansion was the biggest winner in last week’s elections

As health care debates raged over the last few years, Congress was smack dab in the middle. After Tuesday’s elections, most of the action moves to the states. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Newly-elected leaders in the states will be in a stronger position than those in Washington to steer significant shifts in health care policy over the next couple of years as a divided Congress struggles with gridlock.

State Medicaid work requirements, prescription drug prices, insurance exchanges and short-term health plans are among the areas with the potential for substantial change. Some states with new Democratic leaders may also withdraw from a multistate lawsuit aimed at killing the 2010 health care law or look for ways to curb Trump administration policies.

With an Ambitious Policy Agenda, Pelosi is Poised to Lead the House Again
Calls increased from Democratic incumbents and candidates asking for new generation of leaders

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference in the Capitol on Nov. 7, the day after Democrats had retaken control of the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Basking in House Democrats’ midterm election wins, Nancy Pelosi is focused on the planks of the Democratic campaign platform that will become the new majority’s agenda: health care, infrastructure and cleaning up corruption in Washington.

But the California Democrat cannot escape questions about another theme that emerged on the campaign trail — opposition to her leadership.

FDA Plans Crackdown on Flavored E-Cigarettes
Move aimed at preventing nicotine addiction in young people

The FDA wants e-cigarette manufacturers to take steps to curb youth use or “face regulatory consequences.” (Matt Cardy/Getty Images file photo)

The Food and Drug Administration, seeking to prevent nicotine addiction in young people, plans to ban flavored e-cigarette sales in gas stations and convenience stores and will propose banning menthol flavoring in traditional cigarettes.

E-cigarettes and their liquid nicotine flavors would continue to be sold in dedicated vape stores, where the FDA believes age verification procedures are more reliable. Gas stations and convenience stores will be able to keep selling e-cigarettes and liquid nicotines flavored like tobacco and menthol.

Pelosi Pumps Up Policy With a Side of Speakership Confidence
Leadership contests pile up but Pelosi, Hoyer insulated from challenges so far

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds a press conference in the Capitol on Wednesday, the day after Election Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Basking in the House Democrats’ midterm election wins, Nancy Pelosi wanted to focus on the planks of the Democratic campaign platform that will become the new majority’s agenda: health care, infrastructure and cleaning up corruption in Washington.

But the California Democrat cannot escape questions about another theme that emerged on the campaign trail — opposition to her leadership. 

Tuesday Night’s Wave Came With an Undertow for the GOP
Results were good enough to constrain Trump, and that alone made it the most important midterm since 1930

As Donald Trump in the White House fulfills every dire prophecy about his vitriolic fear mongering, affluent suburbs are increasingly becoming part of the permanent Democratic coalition. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — It was the most important midterm election since voters repudiated the unsteady hand of Herbert Hoover in responding to the Great Depression. But unlike 1930 when the Democrats garnered more than 50 House seats and gained effective control of the Senate, the electoral verdict last night was far more equivocal.

As anyone who spent last summer at the beach knows, waves come in all sizes. There are gentle waves made for diving seven-year-olds. There are deceptively strong waves that bring with them an undertow. And there are, of course, fierce storm waves that require a response from FEMA.

Here’s All the House Republicans That Voters Sent Home
Incumbent losses cut across all factions of the Republican Caucus but most are moderates

Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo, pictured at Greenglade Elementary School polling place on Election Day in Kendale, Florida, is one of at least 19 House Republicans to have lost re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated on November 13 at 11:41 p.m. | Voters have sent 23 House Republican incumbents and counting home, as the predicted Democratic wave materialized in the lower chamber’s midterm contests. 

The losses cut across all factions of the Republican Conference but most of the incumbents going home after this term are moderate members. With the number of House Republicans shrinking next year, conservatives are poised to become a larger portion of the conference. 

Democrats Win House Majority; Here’s What They’ll Do With It
Government overhaul first legislative item, followed by quick action on Dreamer protections, gun control

Now that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her party are back in power, they have several legislative priorities they wish to pursue. (Margaret Spencer/ CQ Roll Call)

Democrats have been abundantly clear about the top items that would be on their agenda if voters were to put them in the House majority, ranging from a campaign finance overhaul to legislation designed to reduce health care costs. 

Now that the midterm results have confirmed Democrats have won the House, here’s what you can expect with them in control next Congress. 

Democrats’ Final Midterm Pitch: Two Words — Health Care
Pelosi says after Trump’s election, Democrats ‘didn’t agonize, we organized’

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the first order of business for a Democrat-controlled House would be a bipartisan good-government bill aimed at rooting out the influence of dark money and special interest groups from Washington. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s final pitch to voters on Tuesday as they hit the polls centered on one issue: health care.

“This election is about health care,” the California Democrat said at a news conference alongside Democratic House Campaign Committee chairman Ben Ray Luján.

Virginia’s 5th District A Sign of Democrats’ Expanding House Battlefield
If Leslie Cockburn wins this open GOP seat, it will likely be a good night for Democrats

Leslie Cockburn, the Democrat running for Virginia's 5th Congressional district, speaks with supporters at her local campaign office in Huntly, Va., on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MADISON, Va. — If Democrat Leslie Cockburn wins the open seat in Virginia’s 5th District Tuesday, the wave election Democrats have hoped for will be in full effect.

The district is part of an expanding Democratic battlefield this cycle, as the party eyes long-held Republican seats that are a stretch to win but ones they feel are gettable with the right candidate and the right investment.

GOP Candidates Are Hearing It From Constituents With Pre-Existing Conditions
Outspoken patients feel like they’re collateral damage in the battle over ‘repeal and replace’

A couple dozen members of the New Jersey Citizen Action group protest outside the Capitol as the Senate holds a second day of voting on health care legislation in July 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Republicans on the campaign trail have contorted the truth about their monthslong campaign to undo the 2010 health care law, they’ve provoked a tricky opponent: cancer survivors.

Republicans have tried to contain the damage of their “repeal and replace” push as they defend their majorities in the midterm elections. In order to pull that off, the campaigns have had to find ways to discredit the sympathetic voices of people with complex medical needs who opposed their votes.

Free, Quick and Convenient: Flu Shots at the Capitol
Office of the Attending Physician administers vaccines throughout the campus

Free flu shots for all congressional ID holders are available from the Office of the Attending Physician. Above, Kentucky Rep. Brett Guthrie gets his flu vaccination during a health fair in the Rayburn Building in September 2014. (Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call file photo)

Election Day is just around the corner, but flu season is already here. Anyone with a congressional ID can get a free flu shot — and mostly without a wait — right in the Capitol.

The Office of the Attending Physician administers flu shots at 10 locations across the Capitol complex each fall. The internal website for the OAP showed that all locations still had the vaccine in stock as of Thursday, but staffers told Roll Call they have been encouraged to get theirs soon because the OAP has limited supplies of the immunization. 

Republicans Poised to Stand by Trump, Win or Lose
No matter the outcome in November, those who have backed Trump will continue to do so

No matter what happens in the midterms, most Republicans will continue to stand behind their man for the second half of his term, most in the party predict. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

In 2006, the reckoning finally came for Republicans. After 12 years in power in the House, scandal after scandal brought the party down — Tom DeLay, the powerful majority whip from Texas, quit after being indicted, and Rep. Mark Foley of Florida resigned following a scandal involving underage congressional pages. The Iraq War was looking lost. And the president was a drag on everyone. Republicans lost 30 seats in the House, six in the Senate.

Almost immediately after the election, Republicans started eating their own.

Trump: Midterms — Not Tariffs — to Blame for Sluggish Market
Analysts cite president’s trade policies for slowdown

Tourists visit the Wall Street bull statue in the Financial District on Aug. 22. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump deflected blame for a market slowdown. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump says the value of Americans’ stock portfolios will plummet if voters hand Democrats more power in Washington, even though many analysts say markets are sluggish due to worries about his tariffs and trade policies.

He has been telling supporters for weeks at his raucous campaign rallies that voting for any Democratic candidate in next Tuesday’s midterms would be a vote against their wallets. The president tells rally crowds that Democrats want to raise taxes while also altering immigration and health care changes that will mean less money in their pockets.