What a Democrat-controlled Senate could mean for ASCs

Runoff races in Georgia could put the Senate in Democratic control, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as tiebreaker.

The Associated Press called the race for Democrat Raphael Warnock against Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Democrat Jon Ossoff holds a narrow lead in a race against Sen. David Perdue as of Jan. 6 at 1:30 p.m. EST, with outstanding votes remaining in Democratic-leaning counties, according to The New York Times.

If the race is called for Mr. Ossoff, the Senate could pass several measures through budget reconciliation bills that require a simple majority. The Senate would have a harder time passing measures traditionally, because those require a two-thirds majority.

Larry Levitt, executive vice president of Kaiser Family Foundation, tweeted about five policies he thinks a Democratic-controlled Senate would attempt to pass:

1. Ending a lawsuit that aims to overturn the ACA
2. Premium assistance for ACA marketplace plans
3. Aid for states and more incentives to expand Medicaid
4. Government drug price negotiation
5. Elimination of cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment

President-elect Joe Biden campaigned on supporting and expanding the ACA. The Kaiser Family Foundation examined 50 potential executive orders President-elect Biden could enact to influence healthcare. Some that could affect ASCs include:

Expanding the ACA's open enrollment
Increasing marketplace subsidies
Revising section 1115 state demonstration waivers to expand Medicaid. This revision would also reject work requirement waiver requests in Alabama, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee.

Read more about other potential policy actions under a Biden administration here.

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