Jason Redmond / AP

Investors have filed a class-action lawsuit against Envision Healthcare, alleging the company and its emergency room outsourcing business EmCare did not disclose that EmCare overcharged patients and sent out surprise medical bills. The company's "revenues were likely to be unsustainable after the foregoing conduct came to light," according to the complaint.

Surprise billing occurs when patients go to a hospital in their insurance network but are treated by doctors who are out-of-network. The lawsuit cites a July New York Times story that featured a study showing out-of-network emergency room bills and use of high-paying medical codes increased after hospitals hired Envision and EmCare. An Envision spokeswoman said the company does not comment on pending litigation.

Why it matters: The lawsuit is a direct response to research and newspaper coverage about billing practices that have plagued the health care system for years — practices that lawmakers and policy experts agree should be fixed.

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Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: Studies show drop in COVID death rate — The next wave is gaining steam — The overwhelming aftershocks of the pandemic.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.

Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a vote on Republicans' $500 billion targeted COVID-19 relief bill, a far less comprehensive package than the $1.8 trillion+ deal currently being negotiated between the Trump administration and House Democrats.

Why it matters: There's little appetite in the Senate for a stimulus bill with a price tag as large as what President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been calling for. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) "skinny" proposal was mostly seen as a political maneuver, as it had little chance of making it out of the Senate.

The hazy line between politics and influence campaigns

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The recent firestorm over the New York Post’s publication of stories relying on data from a hard drive allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden shows the increasingly hazy line between domestic political “dirty tricks” and a foreign-sponsored disinformation operation.

Why it matters: This haziness could give determined actors cover to conduct influence operations aimed at undermining U.S. democracy through channels that just look like old-fashioned hard-nosed politics.