Fresenius is one of the largest U.S. dialysis providers. Photo: Arne Dedert/picture alliance via Getty Images

A whistleblower lawsuit alleges dialysis giants DaVita and Fresenius padded their profits by donating money to the American Kidney Fund charity, which in turn subsidized patients' premiums as a way to steer them toward insurance plans that pay the dialysis firms particularly well, Bloomberg reports.

The big picture: The Department of Justice did not intervene in the lawsuit, and the companies did not immediately respond for comment. But the lawsuit reignites the debate of whether this technically legal practice is a violation of anti-kickback law, and when the federal government will propose another rule to clear the air.

Go deeper

Cleanup on aisle Biden

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

After two gaffes and a low blow from President Trump questioning his faith, Joe Biden spent Thursday evening off his own message — clarifying comments and responding to attacks.

Why it matters: Biden’s responses reflect what we could see a lot more of in the next few months — cringeworthy comments and Trump smears, smacking into each other and pulling the Democrat off course.

2020 election strategy: Hire all the lawyers

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus has sent overall U.S. unemployment into the double digits — but it's a sort of full-employment act for election law attorneys.

The big picture: The prospect of extended court fights over COVID-19-related voting changes, an absentee ballot avalanche, foreign interference and contested presidential results has prompted a hire-all-the-lawyers binge by candidates and campaigns — not just in swing states but around the country.

Right-wing media defanged by dissolving anti-Biden storylines

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The three biggest anti-Joe Biden storylines in right-wing media over the last year have either fizzled or are getting less online traction than they used to, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: This dynamic has rendered a formidable media ecosystem less effective in boosting President Trump as we move into the heart of the 2020 campaign.