What the Election Outcome Could Mean for Employee Benefits

Bruce Ashton, partner at Drinker, Biddle and Reath LLP, shared his thoughts at the 2016 PLANADVISER National Conference about what the outcome of the presidential election could mean for the employee benefits industry.

By PLANSPONSOR staff | September 16, 2016
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Bruce Ashton, partner at Drinker, Biddle and Reath LLP, said if Hilary Clinton wins the election, the Senate may flip to Democratic control, but the House won’t. The fiduciary rule will go into effect; Obamacare stays, but Clinton will try to make tweaks; and there will be ramped up enforcement on service providers. Ashton said it may be difficult for Clinton to make tweaks to Obamacare if legislation is needed; Congress may fight her. He also noted that enforcement on service providers will not start immediately, but will happen over the course of her administration.

Ashton shared what Democrats have promised:

  • Fight against any attempt to roll back the fiduciary regulation;
  • Fight to protect pension benefits in multiemployer plans;
  • Defend the rights of workers to collect their defined benefit (DB) pensions and make sure they get “priority and protection” when plans are in distress; and
  • Fight efforts to weaken Social Security and, in addition, expand it.

As for health care, Democrats have promised to:

  • Crack down on “runaway” prescription drug prices;
  • Fight efforts to roll back women’s health and reproductive rights;
  • Create a “public option;”
  • Permit those older than 55 to opt in to Medicare;
  • Empower states to create waivers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to develop locally tailored approaches to health coverage; and
  • Repeal the excise tax on high-cost health insurance.
NEXT: If Trump Wins