The Senate Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee held a hearing on Wednesday to discuss and examine irregularities in the 2020 presidential election. This hearing comes one day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged Joe Biden as the President-elect.
Senator Ron Johnson, the Committee’s Chairman, called this hearing to “resolve suspicions with full transparency and public awareness.”
In Johnson’s opening statement, he said he believes the alleged election irregularities can be organized into three categories: lack of enforcement or violation of election laws and controls, allegations of fraudulent votes and ballot stuffing and corruption of voting machines and software that might be programed to add or switch votes.
“The most difficult allegations to asses involve vulnerabilities in voting machines and the software used,” Johnson said.
Johnson did not say he was trying to dispute the outcome, saying that the question was “whether the level of fraud would alter the election.”
“This year, in dozens of court cases, through the certification process in each state and by the Electoral College vote, the conclusion has collectively been reached that it would not,” he said.
As this is Johnson’s last investigation and last hearing as a chairman, he wants to ensure that oversight into election integrity will continue into the next congress because “we must restore confidence in the integrity of our voting system.”
“The fact that our last two presidential elections have not been accepted as legitimate by large percentages of the American public is a serious problem that threatens our republic. I do not say that lightly.”
He continued, “Even though courts have handed out decisions and the electoral college has awarded Joe Biden 306 electoral votes, a large percentage of the American public does not believe the November election results are legitimate.”
Johnson noted that hyper partisanship and media suppression and censorship played a big role in the outcome of the election.
“Media suppression can and does affect the outcome of an election,” Johnson said referring to the Hunter Biden foreign financial entanglements.
The witnesses who testified at the hearing included James Troupis who represented the Trump campaign in the court case in Wisconsin, Jesse Binnall who was Trump’s attorney in Nevada, US Election Assistance Commissioner Donald Palmer, Pennsylvania State Rep Francis Ryan, former CISA director Christopher Krebs and attorney Ken Starr.
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Elizabeth Warren Acknowledges Unintended Consequences of Obamacare
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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