The CVS-Aetna merger is under fire from an antitrust watchdog. Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

CVS and Aetna executives have argued their potential merger will open up a more efficient “front door” into the health care system. But the American Antitrust Institute believes the merger “will potentially harm competition and consumers." Along with the merger of Cigna and Express Scripts, the deal “would trigger a fundamental restructuring of the U.S. health care system," the nonpartisan think tank said in a 10-page letter to the Department of Justice.

Its main points: CVS-Aetna and Cigna-Express Scripts would combine companies that hold dominant positions in health insurance, PBMs and retail pharmacy — and it could create incentives to exclude rivals. And the PBMs could act as “conduits” for gathering sensitive information about health insurer rivals, which could lead to “price fixing” or “collusion," AAI said. 

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Court allows North Carolina mail-in ballots deadline extension

An absentee ballot election worker stuffs ballot applications at the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections office in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

North Carolina can accept absentee ballots that are postmarked Nov. 3 on Election Day until Nov. 12, a federal appeals court decided Tuesday in a 12-3 majority ruling.

Why it matters: The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling against state and national Republican leaders settles a lawsuit brought by a group representing retirees, and it could see scores of additional votes counted in the key battleground state.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting — McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election — Republican senators defend Fauci as Trump escalates attacks.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — University of Michigan students ordered to shelter-in-place.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Report: Goldman to settle DOJ probe into Malaysia's 1MDB for over $2B

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Goldman Sachs has agreed with the Department of Justice to pay over $2 billion for the bank's role in Malaysia's multi-billion dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: The settlement, expected to be announced within days, would allow Goldman Sachs to avoid a criminal conviction in the U.S. over the bribery and money laundering scandal that saw three of its former bankers banned for life from the banking industry by the Federal Reserve Board.