Republicans gained control of the U.S. Senate in last week’s elections, but this change is not expected to affect Congressional policymaking on dialysis issues. While some health care issues involve contentious partisan bickering, historically the nuts-and-bolts, day-to-day operations of the Medicare program have been managed on a bipartisan basis by Congress’ professional staff members, overseen by Congressional committee chairs with expertise on Medicare.

What will be different is that many new Members of Congress will take office in January who do not have experience with Medicare or ESRD issues. At least five new Senators and fifty new House Members will take office who do not have experience with federal health policy—about ten percent of the new Congress. DPC encourages patients to help us orient their new Members of Congress to kidney issues after they are sworn in during the first week of January.