OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Florida judge strikes down healthcare reform

Medicaid expansion OK'd: The reform law's expansion of the Medicaid program was constitutional, Vinson wrote in his 78-page decision. He was the first judge to weigh in on new requirements for states to cover individuals whose incomes are at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. However, the point is somewhat moot since Vinson struck down the entire law.

Implementation to proceed: Senior administration officials said Monday night that the ruling will not stop implementation of the reform law. "I don’t imagine right now a set of circumstances under which implementation woud not proceed," an official said. 

Democrats take the legal dispute to Congress: Soon after Vinson's ruling, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he would chair a hearing this week about the law's constitutionality. 

Everyone on board: All 47 Republican senators are now co-sponsors of legislation to repeal the reform law, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) announced Monday afternoon. However, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is still firm in his opposition to allowing a vote on the Senate floor.

“Rather than focusing obsessively on the past and pushing a plan that will add $1 trillion to the deficit, Republicans should join Democrats as we work to create jobs and strengthen the middle class," Reid said Monday. 

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) plan to shortly reintroduce their bill to combat antimicrobial resistance. 

The Gates Foundation makes the case for polio eradication, expanding childhood immunizations.

Wisconsin has created an office of Free Market Health Care that seeks to circumvent federal control. 

Tuesday's agenda

-- Accountable Care Organizations — the doctor-hospital partnerships encouraged by the healthcare reform law — will be front and center at a Brookings Institution event in the morning. 

Medicare chief Donald Berwick is scheduled to speak at 9:40 a.m., and Nancy-Ann DeParle — the newly minted White House deputy chief of staff for policy — at 12:30 p.m. The administration is expected to issue ACO regulations in mid- to late February.

-- Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) on Tuesday will introduce a bill allowing states to opt out of the law's major provisions, including the individual mandate, employer mandate and expansion of Medicaid requirements.

-- The Senate Budget Committee holds a 10 a.m. hearing on the budget and economic outlook for fiscal years 2011-2021.

-- The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing at 10 a.m. on the American Medical Isotopes Production Act. The legislation seeks to encourage the production of a nuclear isotope used to detect cancer.

The bill is co-sponsored by the panel's chair, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and ranking member, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

-- PricewaterhouseCoopers holds its annual briefing on the biomedical industry in California via webcast. 

Reading list:

A top Obama adviser links healthcare reform to presidential hopeful and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, CNN reports. 

New York's new Democratic governor found a budget flaw that would have increased Medicaid and education spending by 13 percent, the Associated Press reports. 

Ohio's Medicaid costs could jump 49 percent next year after stimulus funding runs dry, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

What you might have missed on Healthwatch

Freshman Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) will head the Small Business health subpanel.

The government's new dietary guidelines target Americans' waistlines. 

Dems prepare for aggressive health reform sell despite "improvement" chatter. 

Senate Republicans await their chance to grill Medicare chief Donald Berwick. 

Comments / complaints / suggestions? 

Please let us know:

Julian Pecquet: jpecquet@thehill.com / 202-628-8527

Jason Millman: jmillman@thehill.com / 202-628-8351


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