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The first lady’s office didn’t say what Miss Johnston’s new role would be.

MEDICARE

Griffith’s new role: Pitching health care

Actor Andy Griffith has a new role: pitching President Obama’s health care law to seniors in a cable-television ad paid for by Medicare.

The TV star - whose role as sheriff of Mayberry made him an enduring symbol of small-town American values - tells seniors that “good things are coming” under the health care overhaul, including free preventive checkups and lower-cost prescriptions for Medicare recipients.

Polls show that seniors are more skeptical of the health care law than younger people because Medicare cuts provide much of the financing to expand coverage for the uninsured.

Medicare says the national ad is not political, but part of its outreach to educate seniors about new benefits available next year. Mr. Griffith is 84.

ALASKA

Palin: Author alters way of life

Sarah Palin says the best-selling author who moved into the house next door to her family while writing a book about her needs to get a life.

Mrs. Palin told “Fox News Sunday” that she and he family now avoid their front yard and other areas of their lakeside home in Wasilla, Alaska, because of their new neighbor - author Joe McGinniss.

Mr. McGinniss moved to Wasilla last spring while working on a book about Mrs. Palin, the former governor and vice presidential candidate who is a leading contender for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. Mr. McGinniss has said that he rented the house next door to the Palin family because the price was right, not to spy on them.

SENATE

GOP: Obamacare to be job-killer

A Nebraska senator says a requirement tucked into the nation’s massive new health care law will be a job-killing drag on small businesses.

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