AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Meghan McCarthy

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Congress overhauls federal food safety efforts

December 22, 2010 After ping-ponging between chambers three times in the past month, Congress's big food fight has come to an end as the House passed a bill that overhauls how the government monitors food safety for the first time in more than 70 years. The House voted in favor of the legislation, ...

Senate Republicans block 9/11 health bill

December 9, 2010 Republican senators held together Thursday to defeat a measure to provide extra funds to treat first responders sickened after working in rescue efforts after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, voting down a cloture motion, 57-42. Senators from New York and New Jersey blasted Republicans' votes against the measure, calling ...

Senate Republicans vow to block financial services spending bill

September 20, 2010 A group of Senate Republicans have told their leadership they will block consideration of fiscal 2011 Financial Services Appropriations legislation if a pharmaceutical "pay-for-delay" amendment that Senate appropriators attached to the spending bill isn't stripped out of the measure. In a letter sent to Senate GOP leaders Friday, Republican Sens. ...

GAO sees improvement in CMS competitive bid process

September 15, 2010 Two years after Congress stepped in to stop a flawed Medicare competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment, the Government Accountability Office is expected to tell a House committee on Wednesday that HHS has improved the bidding process. But medical equipment firms and hospitals are warning lawmakers that the program ...

Senators call for improved Medicaid oversight

August 5, 2010 Senate Finance Committee leaders Wednesday called on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to improve oversight of how states determine payment rates for their managed Medicaid programs, after a Government Accountability Office report found that CMS was inconsistently reviewing if the payments were actuarially sound. "To protect Medicaid, we ...

Key Dems criticize HHS reshuffling of public health fund

June 17, 2010 Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius drew criticism from key Democrats on Wednesday after the agency announced that $250 million from a public health fund established in the healthcare overhaul law would be used to increase the physician workforce. While lawmakers and interest groups acknowledged that addressing a shortage ...

Sebelius plugs data sets as giving public more control over health decisions

June 2, 2010 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, urged federal and local leaders and technology experts on Wednesday to use the agency's extensive health data to create tools that would help individuals and health care providers improve choices and hold the government, including Congress, accountable for the nation's ...

HHS chief plugs government health data

June 2, 2010 Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urged federal and local leaders and technology experts on Wednesday to use the agency's extensive health data to create tools that would help individuals and health care providers improve choices and hold the government, including Congress, accountable for the nation's health outcomes. "These ...

Young adults might have to wait for health care coverage

May 24, 2010 In the midst of college graduation season, health insurance experts warned Monday that many employers will not be prepared to offer coverage to dependents up to age 26 before 2011, despite insurance companies' early commitment to provide that coverage this year. "For young adults who are graduating this spring, it's ...

Innovation health care funds will be under extensive scrutiny

May 10, 2010 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Medicare Payment Advisory Commission Executive Director Mark Miller warned Monday that Congress would have to monitor funds marked for innovation in the healthcare overhaul law to ensure the money works as lawmakers intended. "We will have to vigorously protect the money and make sure it is used for these purposes," ...