Stakeholders size up Biden vs. Trump

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Friday, September 18, 2020

WASHINGTON - How will the November elections impact the HME industry? 

There are a number of dynamics at play in the presidential election between Joe Biden and Donald Trump and in the various races in the House of Representatives and Senate, says John Leppard, a health care analyst with Washington Analysis. 

“At the top of the line: a Biden win-Democratic sweep is probably a net slightly positive in the near- to medium-term as it augurs greater stability,” he said. “He’s less likely to lift the public health emergency and the duration of that extends to the duration of the CARES Act reimbursement rates for non-bid areas.” 

A recent round-up of national polls has Biden leading Trump by a margin of anywhere from seven to 10 percentage points, according to the New York Times. 

If Trump were to win re-election, however, the relationships that the industry has built over the past four years with politically appointed staff will benefit, says John Gallagher, vice president of government relations for VGM. Additionally, the GOP is historically more business-friendly and steps taken by the current administration to, among other things, deregulate are also positive for the HME industry, he says. 

“The continuation of the administration posts is a positive,” he said. 

Stakeholders don’t expect much impact from congressional races, despite all 435 seats in the Democratic-controlled House and 35 of the 100 seats in the Republican-controlled Senate being up for grabs. 

“I don’t see the House flipping and, to be honest, I don’t see the Senate flipping,” said Gallagher. “In the Senate, the democrats might pick up a seat or two, but it’s kind of a wash.” 

One thing seems certain: No matter who’s in charge, competitive bidding is not going away, say stakeholders. 

“Biden or Trump—they’re not going to want to unravel that card,” said Gallagher. “We still have to be going after that on the legislative side.”