OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Immigration reform brings debate on ACA benefits

Read more about the debate at Healthwatch. 

Foster almost quit: Richard Foster, who's retiring next week from his post as Medicare's chief actuary, is no stranger to controversy. His math is often used as a political football, by both sides of the aisle. But he said in an interview with Kaiser Health News that he almost resigned during the Bush administration, because of the way the White House limited his ability to provide independent analysis to Capitol Hill. Healthwatch has more.

Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonOvernight Cybersecurity: Panel pushes agencies on dropping Kaspersky software | NC county won't pay ransom to hackers | Lawmakers sound alarm over ISIS 'cyber caliphate' GOP chairman warns of ISIS's ‘cyber caliphate’ Overnight Finance: House approves motion to go to tax conference — with drama | GOP leaders to consider Dec. 30 spending bill | Justices skeptical of ban on sports betting | Mulvaney won't fire official who sued him MORE, not a fan of ObamaCare: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Monday that President Obama's signature healthcare law is the greatest threat to liberty in his lifetime.

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"Well, I think Americans are a little bit like a bunch of frogs in that pot of water and the water's being brought up to a boil," Johnson said in an interview with the Atlas Society. "And I think we're losing freedoms across the board. The reason I ran really was in reaction to the passage of the healthcare law, which I think is really the greatest assault on our freedom in my lifetime."

Healthwatch has more from Johnson's interview.

NFL in the hot seat: The heads of the House Oversight Committee are planning to grill professional football players directly in their probe of human growth hormone use in the National Football League.

Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) told the executive director of the NFL’s union on Monday that their panel would be reaching out to the league’s players to see if they think human growth hormone (HGH) use is a problem.

Healthwatch has the story.

New in mental health: Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenDemocrats turn on Al Franken Schumer called, met with Franken and told him to resign Overnight Finance: Trump says shutdown 'could happen' | Ryan, conservatives inch closer to spending deal | Senate approves motion to go to tax conference | Ryan promises 'entitlement reform' in 2018 MORE (D-Minn.) officially introduced his Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act on Monday — a bill to improve access to mental health services for people in the criminal justice system. It would extend the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) for five years; authorize investments in veterans' treatment courts; encourage new curricula to educate criminal justice officers about mental illness; and support corrections-based programs — to reduce recidivism, for example. The bill has 18 bipartisan co-sponsors in the Senate, and a House version was introduced by Rep. Rich Nugent (R-Fla.).


Tuesday's agenda

The Senate Aging Committee's subcommittee on Primary Health, chaired by Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSchumer: Franken should resign Franken resignation could upend Minnesota races Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE (I-Vt.), holds a hearing on the shortage of primary care doctors.

The American Enterprise Institute holds a discussion of healthcare and budget challenges for 2013, including entitlement spending.


State by state

State lawmakers in Texas want to give a tax credit to companies that don't comply with the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate.

North Dakota's oil boom is straining the state's healthcare systems.

Statehouse Republicans in Michigan aren't wild about implementing the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion.


Lobbying registrations

Jenkins Hill Consulting / Health Elements

McDonald & Harden / Catholic Health Partners


Reading list

Is Dr. Oz doing more harm than good? The New Yorker explores.

The White House can't seem to find anyone willing to serve on the Independent Payment Advisory Board, The Washington Post reports.

The AP takes a look at what exactly goes into building an insurance exchange.

Comments / complaints / suggestions?

Please let us know:

Sam Baker: sbaker@thehill.com / 202-628-8351

Elise Viebeck: eviebeck@thehill.com / 202-628-8523

Follow us on Twitter @hillhealthwatch