OrthoPAC Recaps Election Efforts, Predictions, and Key Races
The AAOS Orthopaedic PAC (OrthoPAC) has been actively working to elect and re-elect orthopaedic surgeon friendly-candidates to Congress. With the 2018 midterm elections just one week away, OrthoPAC wants to provide a recap of its efforts to support our legislative efforts and access to key lawmakers. Health care is the number one policy issue this election cycle, and the results of the election will have a significant impact on the future of the health care delivery system. Below is a summary of OrthoPAC’s 2018 cycle work, election predictions, key races we are following, and essential resources to help you prepare for election day.
PAC Activities this Cycle
OrthoPAC is the driving vehicle for our legislative successes. It opens doors and offers unprecedented access to lawmakers. It also invests heavily in candidates who support our cause and bases our giving on a three-tiered system, weighted by members on committees of health jurisdiction, leadership, and issues of importance laid forth by our Council on Advocacy.
- Raised more than $3.9 million dollars, our best election cycle in our history
- Supported 320 candidates and members
- Attended 13 orthopaedic meetings, a 50 percent increase from last cycle
- Attended nearly 1,200 events in D.C. and 94 in-district events, more than a 25 percent increase
- Hosted 120 events in Washington, D.C., and attended 52 political retreats
Election Analysis and Predictions
The 2018 midterm elections are surrounded by incredible amounts of uncertainty. Real Clear Politics holds the generic ballot at Democrat + 7.3, which is based on a culmination of generic ballot polls conducted by the Economist, Reuters, USA Today, Rasmussen Reports and others. AAOS recently hosted David Wasserman, House Editor for The Cook Political Report, for an OrthoPAC webinar titled What to Expect When You’re Electing provide. Wasserman concluded that the elections are a tale of two battlegrounds, rural vs. suburban, and that it appears likely that the House will flip, the Senate will remain in Republican hands, and the Democrats will pick up a few governorships. Wasserman also laid out two reasons why Republicans might not fall off a cliff in November: 1) the map favors GOP, 2) favorable views of the economy. He then shifted gears and projected three reasons as to why it could be a Democrat wave: 1) year of the “fired up female graduate,” 2) Republicans can’t count on Trump’s base to show up, 3) check-and=-balance voters, red in 16, blue in 18.
Key Races to Watch
In each of these key races, the AAOS is in support of the candidate who either champions our orthopedic-supported issues or has an influential role on a related committee. Many of AAOS’s long- time orthopaedic friends are finding themselves in the race of their lives, and we are proud that we have a PAC large enough to support them in their time of need, as well as invest in open seats.
- Wyoming: Republican incumbent John Barrasso, MD. Senator Barrasso has been essential in our work with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and is the original sponsor of Senator James Lankford’s physician owned hospitals bill. Senator Barrasso received the prestigious AMA Nathan Davis award for his commitment and leadership in fighting for medicine. He is currenlty fourth in the Senate Leadership and Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee. Gary Trauner is a businessman, community volunteer, and a past Chairman of the Teton County School District #1 Board of Trustees.
- Minnesota: Democrat incumbent Amy Klobuchar faces Republican candidate Jim Newberger. Real Clear Politics ranks this race as safely Democrat. Senator Klobuchar sits on the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee and was the Democratic sponsor of the AAOS-originated Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act, which was recently signed into law.
- MN-3: Republican incumbent Erik Paulsen is seeking reelection against Democrat candidate Dean Phillips. Real Clear Politics ranks this seat as leaning Democrat.
- CA-7:Democrat incumbent Ami Bera faces Republican candidate Andrew Grant. Real Clear Politics ranks this seat as leaning Democrat.
- NJ-2: In this open seat election, Democratic candidate Jeff Van Drew, DDS, faces Republican candidate Seth Grossman. Real Clear Politics ranks this seat as leaning Democrat.
- WA-8: In this open seat race, Democratic candidate Kim Schrier, MD faces Republican candidate Dino Rossi. Real Clear Politics ranks this seat as a tossup.
- IL-6:Republican Representative Pete Roskam faces Democratic candidate Sean Casten. Real Clear Politics ranks this election as a tossup.
- MI-8: Republican incumbent Mike Bishop faces Democratic candidate Elissa Slotkin. Real Clear Politics ranks this seat as a tossup.
- TX-7:Republican incumbent John Culberson faces Democratic candidate Lizzie Fletcher. Real Clear Politics ranks this seat as a tossup.
- TX-32:Republican incumbent Pete Sessions faces Democratic candidate Colin Allred. Real Clear Politics ranks this seat as a tossup.
- KS-3:Republican incumbent Kevin Yoder faces Democratic candidate Sharice Davids. Real Clear Politics ranks this seat as leaning Democrat.
- Oregon: State Representative Knute Buehler, MD, is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon who is running against Democratic incumbent Kate Brown. The race was recently rated as a toss-up right on the heels of endorsements from the Oregonian and Portland Tribune
AAOS PAC has worked hard to promote these candidates and increase awareness for their campaigns, but it is your vote that will ultimately make the difference. Voting on election day has a direct impact on our ability to advocate for legislation that supports the orthopaedic community, especially with health care being the most important issue to voters.
Illustrations represent the current makeup of Congress
(source: National Journal, Daniel Stublen).