Overnight Health: Senate showdown over ObamaCare funding?

The Senate's new budget leader has a record of aggressively trying to defund ObamaCare, an ominous sign for the president’s healthcare law under a GOP-controlled chamber.

Sen. Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziBeware of the 'unknown knowns' of budget reform The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Biden go toe-to-toe in Iowa The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Biden go toe-to-toe in Iowa MORE (R-Wyo.) became the first in line to lead the Senate Budget Committee on Wednesday after ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) pulled himself out of the running.


Enzi’s rise to the top will likely force President Obama on the defense again over his signature healthcare law, especially with Senate leadership already vowing to tackle ObamaCare.

The Wyoming senator, along with Sens. Mike Lee, (R-Utah), Ted Cruz, (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), has pushed to erase funding for ObamaCare since the law’s inception.

Together, they have worked on 17 bills to "repeal, defund, and dismantle Obamacare piece-by-piece," according to a statement from Enzi’s office. Read more here.

ObamaCare fees loom: People without insurance are running out of time to avoid the hefty ObamaCare penalties that the IRS will be handing down in 2016.

Uninsured people looking to escape the penalties are turning to the exchanges before they close, while insurance companies and tax preparers are seizing on the looming tax hit as a business opportunity. Read more here.

Hospitals in trouble in 2015?: Credit rating agencies are forecasting trouble for the U.S. hospital sector in 2015 as federal reimbursements decrease and Republicans float a variety of changes to ObamaCare.

Standard & Poor's Ratings, Moody's Investors Services and Fitch Ratings all predicted that the healthcare world will face challenges in the form of rising costs and uncertainty surrounding the healthcare law. Read more here.

Customers want in-person help: Storefronts for ObamaCare coverage are panning out well this year as a way to bring in customers to the exchanges, state officials from around the country said Wednesday.

California and Kentucky exchange directors said they're relying on storefronts more heavily this year to connect shoppers with individual help navigating the marketplaces. In Kentucky, the storefront has received nearly 5,000 visitors. Read more here.

Attention job-seekers: Monster.com has begun sharing ObamaCare success stories as part of a new partnership with the federal government to help spur healthcare sign-ups. One post features a 28-year-old Alaskan woman named Susan Shain, who describes having health insurance as "freedom."

"It’s a pretty cool feeling when they ask you 'Do you have insurance?' and you get to say yes," she writes. Read more here.


State by state:

Vermont: Not the 'right time' for single-payer

New York looks to cover transgender operations under Medicaid

DC exchange glitch puts some at risk of temporarily losing insurance

New ObamaCare enrollments in California top 144,000


What we’re reading:

Ebola centers overflow as Sierra Leone steps up fight

A high-tech 'event analysis' of the Affordable Care Act

There are 53 drugs that could treat Ebola


What you might have missed from The Hill:

Christmas decorations filled with toxic chemicals, study finds  

Head of USAID leaves global health legacy

Pharmacists indicted for deadly meningitis outbreak


Please send tips and comments to Sarah Ferris, sferris@thehill.com, and Elise Viebeck, eviebeck@thehill.com. Follow on Twitter: @thehill@sarahnferris@eliseviebeck