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2022 Midterms: David Perdue won’t run against Raphael Warnock



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On Tuesday, well over a month after losing reelection, former Georgia Sen. David Perdue (R) announced that he will not run for U.S. Senate in 2022 against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.

Perdue’s announcement comes one week after he filed for another campaign with the Federal Election Commission.

“This is a personal decision, not a political one,” Perdue said in an email to supporters. “I am confident that whoever wins the Republican Primary next year will defeat the Democrat candidate in the General election for this seat, and I will do everything I can to make that happen.”

“After much prayer and reflection, Bonnie and I have decided that we will not enter the race for the United States Senate in Georgia in 2022,” Perdue continued. “This is a personal decision, not a political one. I am confident that whoever wins the Republican Primary next year will defeat the Democrat candidate in the General election for this seat, and I will do everything I can to make that happen.”

“As we saw in my race in November, Georgia is not a blue state,” he added. “The more Georgians that vote, the better Republicans do. These two current liberal US Senators do not represent the values of a majority of Georgians.”

During the 2020 election, there were two Senate races in Georgia. However, no candidate in either race was able to garner more than 50% of the vote, thus triggering runoff elections in accordance with state election rules. On January 5, Perdue and the Peach State’s other GOP incumbent senator, Kelly Loeffler, lost to Democrats Jon Ossoff and Warnock respectively.

The twin runoff races ultimately decided the fate of the Senate for the next two years, giving Democrats a de facto majority in the upper chamber after six years of Republican control. While Democrats control 50 out of the 100 seats, Vice President Kamala Harris acts as the tie-breaking vote.

Adding to the historical significance, Ossoff and Warnock’s victories marked the first time that any Democrats had won a Senate seat in Georgia in roughly two decades.

While the Perdue-Ossoff race was a regular election that would see the winner get a six-year term in the Senate, the Loeffler-Warnock one was a special election, with the winner having to run again in 2022.

Although Perdue is now out of the running, Loeffler left the door open to challenging her 2020 election rival in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution interview published Monday, saying a 2022 campaign is “certainly on the table”.

In December 2019, following former Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson (R) resigning for health issues, Loeffler was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp (R-Ga.) to serve out Isakson’s term until the next-closest election November 2020.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Elizabeth Warren Acknowledges Unintended Consequences of Obamacare



Elizabeth Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a longtime supporter of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is now acknowledging the unintended consequences of the healthcare legislation, particularly its impact on industry consolidation and rising healthcare prices.

Warren, who has been a vocal proponent of Obamacare, has recently had what the Wall Street Journal reported as an “epiphany” regarding the consequences of the healthcare law. In a letter addressed to the Health and Human Services Department inspector general, Warren, along with Senator Mike Braun of Indiana, expressed concerns about vertically-integrated healthcare companies potentially increasing prescription drug costs and evading federal regulations.

According to reports from Fox News, the bipartisan letter highlighted issues with the nation’s largest health insurers allegedly bypassing Obamacare’s medical loss ratio (MLR). According to Warren, these insurers, through vertical integration, have manipulated the system, leading to “sky-high prescription drug costs and excessive corporate profits.”

The senators detailed how conglomerates, like UnitedHealth Group, with ownership across various healthcare sectors, could inflate medical payments to pharmacies and, by realizing those payments on the pharmacy side, appear to comply with MLR requirements while retaining more profits.

Moreover, despite the Democrats’ argument that the MLR would benefit patients, it has incentivized insurers to merge with or acquire pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), retail and specialty pharmacies, and healthcare providers. This, in turn, has made healthcare spending less transparent, as insurers can allegedly shift profits to their affiliates by increasing reimbursements.

Warren, who has consistently voted against Obamacare repeal efforts, notably advocated for a “Medicare for All” proposal during her 2020 presidential campaign. Despite her prior support for the healthcare law, Warren’s recent concerns about its unintended consequences have raised questions about the long-term effects of Obamacare and its impact on the healthcare industry.

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