Patrick Semansky / AP

Patrick Conway is leaving his post as the most senior career official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to be the CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina on Oct. 1, the health insurer said Tuesday. He will replace Brad Wilson, who is retiring.

Conway has a high profile at the agency — he's the director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, which was set up to run the Affordable Care Act's experiments that changed how doctors and hospitals are paid. He has been at CMS since 2011, right before the Obama administration started implementing the ACA's changes to Medicare, Medicaid and the individual marketplaces.

Why it matters: Conway is likely to bring his goals of altering health care payments and care delivery to North Carolina's dominant insurer, which previously had threatened to leave the ACA's exchanges and sued the Obama administration over ACA funding. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina recently has fared well financially.

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10 mins ago - Economy & Business

Boeing research shows disinfectants kill coronavirus on airplanes

Electrostatic spraying of disinfectant. (Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines)

Boeing and researchers at the University of Arizona say their experiment with a live virus on an unoccupied airplane proves that the cleaning methods currently used by airlines are effective in destroying the virus that causes COVID-19.

Why it matters: Deep cleaning aircraft between flights is one of many tactics the airline industry is using to try to restore public confidence in flying during the pandemic. The researchers say their study proves there is virtually no risk of transmission from touching objects including armrests, tray tables, overhead bins or lavatory handles on a plane.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election.
  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.