This fall’s midterm election became a bellwether on the public’s attitude towards the Affordable Care Act. Just as in other states, some legislators in Illinois learned that past support for “repeal and replace” wouldn’t translate to success at the polls.
Sean Casten, in the Illinois 6
th, defeated the staunchly anti-ACA six-term Rep. Peter Roskam, the chairman of the Ways and Means health subcommittee. Casten campaigned heavily on protecting plan access for those with pre-existing conditions. In an even more dramatic upset, Lauren Underwood, a nurse who had worked on ACA implementation in the Obama Administration, soundly defeated Rep. Randy Hultgren in Illinois’ 14
The impact of these results, plus similar votes in other states, effectively kills the threat of ACA repeal. However, an impactful ACA lawsuit remains active and the Trump Administration is expected to continue undermining the law through executive action and regulatory guidance.
In Illinois, a new administration could yield some immediate and positive goals, including improving Medicaid enrollment mechanisms, implementing governor-elect Pritzker’s Medicaid buy-in proposal, and stabilizing the ACA marketplace via reinsurance programs and strengthened protections. Stay tuned!