Meghan McCarthy


HHS Eases HIPAA Rules to Strengthen Background Checks for Guns

The Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule to modify the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, commonly known as HIPAA, to permit certain medical professionals to share the identities of patients with mental conditions that disqualify them from possessing a firearm. “The modification announced today better enables the reporting of the identities […]

CMS Launches Program to Consider Social and Behavioral Needs of Medicare and Medicaid Beneficiaries

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is launching a five-year program to test whether screening Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries for health-related social needs improves quality of care and lowers health care costs. The Accountable Health Communities Model will connect community-based organizations with local clinics to test how social and behavioral issues affect beneficiaries’ health care. The […]

One-Fourth of Americans Skeptical Paris Talks Will Achieve Anything

As negotiators in Paris go down to the wire on an agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, more than one quarter of Americans are skeptical the talks will produce any tangible results. A Morning Consult poll conducted during the COP21 climate conference found that 27 percent of voters don’t think participating countries will follow through on the […]

Republicans to CMS: Lower ‘Insurer Bailout’ Pay

Top Republicans on Capitol Hill’s health committees are asking the Obama administration to lower payment rates for insurers who benefit from a controversial “reinsurance” program in the Affordable Care Act. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and House Education and Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) sent the […]

Next Steps: Simple Majority Elects Next Speaker

Just five years ago, House Speaker John Boehner led his party back to the majority. Last year, he helped Republicans leap to the largest majority since the Great Depression. On Thursday, he sat behind Pope Francis at a special joint meeting of Congress, the culmination of a 20-year effort to bring a pontiff to the […]

Reconciliation Could Leave Obamacare Insurance Expansion Alone

A September reconciliation bill is in the works, and according to several sources on and off Capitol Hill, it will target specific pieces of the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood. The reconciliation package has been rumored for weeks as a way House and Senate Republican leadership could quell growing demands from their right flank […]

Obamacare, Still In the Spotlight, Gets Slight Bump

Five years after Obamacare became law, uninsured rates have fallen to historic lows, but attitudes on the Affordable Care Act remain mostly stagnant and entrenched along party lines. But new Morning Consult polling shows some shifts: over the past year, Democrats have become more likely to say Congress should actually expand the law –  as have […]

Before Opposition, Price Sought Medicare Spending In Cures

Before House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price opposed a bill that would increase funding for medical research, he proposed including some potentially costly changes to Medicare in the legislation, according to multiple sources. Those items aren’t in the final package, and now Price (R-Ga.) is leading the effort to kill the bill over spending concerns. […]

Voter Views of Supreme Court Shift Left

Public opinion of the Supreme Court’s political leanings took a turn to the left following last week’s landmark decisions on the Affordable Care Act and gay marriage. A Morning Consult poll taken immediately after the court announced its decision on gay marriage found 35 percent of voters viewed the court as liberal, 35 percent viewed […]