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Mich. lawmaker: Giuliani to appear at state elections hearing on Wednesday



Rudy Giuliani

President Donald Trump‘s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is set to appear in person on Wednesday at a Michigan House Oversight Committee, a state lawmaker has said.

The committee’s chair, Matt Hall (R), said in a Tuesday statement that the former New York City mayor will testify during a Wednesday hearing regarding the presidential election in the swing state. This comes after the Michigan State Board of Canvassers certified the state’s election results Monday last week, giving the state’s 16 Electoral College votes to President-elect Joe Biden.

The Detroit Free Press noted that, as of 10:45 am on Tuesday, the hearing was not listed on the state legislative calendar. While the hearing is set for 6 pm, it could start later than that, depending on what time the full House’s proceedings wrap up that day.

In his emailed statement, Hall wrote that the purpose of this hearing is to address allegations of voter fraud in the Wolverine State and to get information about election security and transparency.

“Election security and transparency are top concerns for people I represent. I have been getting thousands of emails and calls from people regarding this election. Other legislators have also. People have questions and concerns about the election process, the way it was handled and how our future elections could be impacted. Rumors and hearsay are everywhere and our committee is attempting to get to the bottom of all of it to deliver people answers they deserve,” he said.

“We can go a long way to achieving this by going straight to the top. Mr. Giuliani believes there were many problems with how this election was conducted and has alleged that there was significant fraud in Michigan. I am glad we were able to find time to make this work with the president’s legal team,” Hall continued. “This is an opportunity for us to get definitive answers—in-person—about Mr. Giuliani’s claims and evidence, while we work to provide clarity and transparency to people who have taken issue with our state’s election system.”

Giuliani has been leading the Trump campaign’s efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election, alleging widespread voter fraud. Of the dozens of lawsuits that the president’s campaign team has launched since Election Day, none have succeeded in changing the results of the election in any of the swing states that they have targeted. While the General Services Administration has already officially commenced the presidential transition, for which Trump gave his blessing, he has yet to concede the election.

This hearing follows another Oversight Committee hearing held on Tuesday about allegations of misconduct during the ballot-counting process inside Detroit’s TCF Center, per The Free Press.

State-level Democrats slammed this hearing, with Michigan House Minority Leader Christine Greig calling the hearing “a travesty,” according to The Free Press.

One of the Democrats on the committee, Darrin Camilleri, responded to the news, tweeting, “Looks like every sentence before our committee tomorrow will be a noun, a verb, and a conspiracy theory.”

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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