The likelihood of a Biden presidency and a closely divided Senate means that nothing big is likely to happen in health care for at least the next two years.
The big picture: For all the time Democrats spent debating Medicare for All, competing public insurance options and sweeping federal controls over drug prices, the near-term future for health policy will likely be about gridlock and incrementalism.
Health care stocks skyrocketed after Tuesday's election results indicated Republicans likely will maintain control of the Senate, all but assuring continued gridlock in both chambers of Congress.
The big picture: A Republican Senate means "the public option and direct government negotiation on drug prices are dead for at least the next two years," Spencer Perlman, an analyst at Veda Partners, wrote to investors Wednesday.
If this is the end for the Trump administration, it will leave a legacy of failure on health care, and if he's re-elected, he'll have a lot of ground left to make up.
Why it matters: The administration failed to get almost anything it wanted — sometimes the setback was Congress, sometimes the courts, sometimes the administration itself.
From high levels of obesity and opioid addiction to inequities in access to care, America's pre-existing conditions make the country an easy target for COVID-19, as well as future pandemics that could cripple the United States for decades to come.
Why it matters: One of the best ways the country could prepare for future threats — and boost its economy — is to improve Americans' overall health.
Health care has fragmented into multiple issues in this campaign cycle, and Joe Biden leads President Trump on almost all of them, according to our KFF polling.
The big picture: Biden’s commanding leads on protecting people with pre-existing conditions and managing the coronavirus outbreak suggest that Trump’s record and rhetoric on those issues, while popular with his base, may have backfired with the electorate generally.
Even a solidly conservative Supreme Court could find a pretty easy path to preserve most of the Affordable Care Act — if it wants to.
The big picture: It’s too early to make any predictions about what the court will do, and no ACA lawsuit is ever entirely about the law. They have all been colored by the bitter political battles surrounding the ACA.
Health care was by far the dominant issue in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing yesterday for Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
The big picture: After promising for 10 years to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, and with a lawsuit pending at the Supreme Court that could do exactly that, Republicans are making a new argument: c’mon, nobody’s getting rid of the Affordable Care Act.
Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that she's not "hostile" toward the Affordable Care Act or any statute passed by Congress, defending a past writing in which she criticized Chief Justice John Roberts' opinion upholding the law.
Why it matters: Democrats' central message throughout the confirmation fight has been that Barrett was nominated in order to help President Trump and conservatives dismantle the ACA when the Supreme Court hears a lawsuit against it on Nov. 10.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) acknowledged on Monday that Democrats do not have "some secret, clever, procedural way to stop" the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, arguing that the only way for Americans to "change the trajectory of this nomination" is by voting.
The big picture: Klobuchar and other Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee used day one of Barrett's confirmation hearings to criticize the process of rushing through a nomination after voting in the 2020 election has already begun, attacking it as a "sham" and "illegitimate."
A record 4.4. million children were without health insurance last year, an increase by about 320,000, an analysis of Census data shows.
Why it matters: After decades of decline, it's the third year in a row the nation has seen an increase in the number of uninsured children.