A patient gets her medication intravenously at a hospital. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Department of Health and Human Services is pushing for a one-year delay of an Affordable Care Act policy that would fine drug companies for "knowingly and intentionally" overcharging hospitals for drugs within the federal discount program known as 340B.

The bottom line: This would be the fifth delay of the policy, which wouldn't go into effect until July 1, 2019. It's a clear victory for pharmaceutical companies wanting to avoid penalties for not offering mandated drug discounts.

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Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated 14 mins ago - Technology

Amazon launches new Alexa-enabled hardware

Amazon's new spherical Echo smart speaker. Screenshot: Axios

Amazon debuted a range of new Ring, Fire TV and Echo hardware on Thursday, including more environmentally sustainable versions of its audio and video gear. Among the products introduced are a cloud gaming service, a home monitoring drone and new spherical designs for its Echo and Echo dot smart speakers.

Why it matters: Amazon, like rivals Google and Apple, typically gives its consumer hardware a launch ahead of the holidays. Apple has already introduced new iPads, while Google has scheduled a Sept. 30 event, where it is expected to debut new audio and video gear, alongside updated Pixel phones.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
25 mins ago - Economy & Business

Why money laundering persists

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

2 million suspicious activity reports, or SARs, are filed by banks every year. Those reports are sent to the U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which has the job of determining whether the reports are evidence of criminal activity, and whether that activity should be investigated and punished.

The catch: FinCEN only has 270 employees, which means that FinCEN is dealing with a ratio of roughly 150 reports per employee per week. So it comes as little surprise to learn that most of the reports go unread, and the activity in them unpunished.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
30 mins ago - Economy & Business

The American economic paradox

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It's the rebound economists didn't see coming.

Why it matters: America did nothing that should have been necessary to really get the economy moving again. We didn't get the coronavirus under control, and we gave up on fiscal stimulus after a single short-lived round of it. Nevertheless, we're about to close out by far the strongest quarter of economic growth in American history.

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