What the 2018 election means for health care in Washington State

November 8, 2018

The 2018 midterm elections have now passed, changing the federal political landscape for health care. In Congress, the House of Representatives has shifted to Democratic control, though Republicans expanded their majority in the Senate. At the state level, Democrats are expanding their majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Many state races remain too close to call, with ballots still being counted. These include three close races for Republican-held seats in the Senate.

The federal election results hold promise for health care. With Democratic control of the House, major legislative threats to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid appear to be off the table. For the immediate future, we are hopeful that this will preserve the access to health insurance so many of our residents rely upon and support the financial viability of our state’s community hospitals.

What remains unclear is what health care issues Democrats and Republicans will agree on at the federal level. Disagreements could slow the governing process, as has happened in the past.

We are hard at work preparing for the 2019 state legislative session, and our top priorities this year include helping difficult to discharge patients find more appropriate sites for their care, improving access to behavioral health care, and reducing and preventing burdensome regulations. Read more about our top priorities.

Making meaningful progress on these critical issues will continue to require bipartisan work in Olympia, and we look forward to working across the aisle in the coming session to institute legislation that will help our communities grow healthier.

Be on the lookout for more information about the 2019 legislative session — which begins in January — as it approaches.


Chelene Whiteaker
Senior VP, Government Affairs


Contact Us

Washington State Hospital Association
999 Third Avenue
Suite 1400
Seattle, WA 98104

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206.281.7211 phone
206.283.6122 fax


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