President Donald Trump‘s press secretary Thursday afternoon tweeted out a statement from him in which he appears to discredit ballots that are still being counted and still arriving at election clerk offices, claiming that they are illegal and don’t help him win if they are counted.
The all-caps statement in the tweet from Press Sec. Kayleigh McEnany kept it brief.
“IF YOU COUNT THE LEGAL VOTES, I EASILY WIN THE ELECTION!” the president’s statement read. “IF YOU COUNT THE ILLEGAL AND LATE VOTES, THEY CAN STEAL THE ELECTION FROM US!”
While he gives no specific context to his statement, Trump is likely talking about ballots that arrive at election clerk offices late, even if postmarked on or before Election Day. He has routinely made claims that such ballots are illegal and shouldn’t be counted. His campaign has even filed lawsuits to halt the vote counts in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia, with such claims forming part of his team’s legal arguments alongside other claims of voter fraud. Some of these lawsuits have been struck down, however, such as the one in Georgia.
Many ballots are still arriving at counting centers and being counted, something which is legal to varying parameters between the states.
Votes are still being counted in many places because many states don’t allow election workers to count the ballots before Election Day, which created million-ballot backlogs of uncounted votes that had to be tallied on Election Day—on top of the votes cast in person on that day too. Additionally, these state laws allow such ballots to be counted if received by a certain date because the unprecedented amount of ballots sent through the mail are traveling slowly through the overwhelmed U.S. Postal Service, whose service has slowed down due to all of this.
No independent authority has declared an official winner of this presidential election yet, with millions of ballots left to be counted in states currently with paper-thin margins between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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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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