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Beaumont's main hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. Photo: Elaine Cromie/Getty Images

Advocate Aurora Health and Beaumont Health have started formal merger discussions, the systems said today. The combined system would control 34 hospitals across Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, and would generate $17.5 billion in annual revenue, which would be larger than companies like Salesforce or Mastercard.

Why it matters: This transaction — which is being initiated during a pandemic that hospitals say has stretched them financially — would create one of the largest hospital systems in the Midwest. But the evidence has been thorough in showing hospital mergers don't lower prices and don't improve care quality.

Go deeper

Georgia governor declines Trump's request to help overturn election result

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp pushed back on Saturday after President Trump pressed him to help overturn the state's election results.

Driving the news: Trump asked the Republican governor over the phone Saturday to call a special legislative session aimed at overturning the presidential election results in Georgia, per the Washington Post. Kemp refused.

Philanthropy Deep Dive

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A look at how philanthropy is evolving (and why Dolly Parton deserves a Medal of Freedom).