OVERNIGHT HEALTH: GOP weighs second high-risk pools vote

Tavenner back on track: Sen. Tom HarkinTom HarkinThe Hill's 12:30 Report Distance education: Tumultuous today and yesterday Grassley challenger no stranger to defying odds MORE (D-Iowa) has lifted his hold on the nomination of Marilyn Tavenner to lead the federal Medicare and Medicaid agency, putting her back on track for an easy Senate confirmation. She sailed through the Finance Committee by a voice vote and seemed likely to win bipartisan praise in the full Senate as well, until Harkin announced his hold. But the retiring Democrat relented on Tuesday, although he's still upset with the Obama administration over the way it has spent the healthcare law's fund for prevention programs. Read the details at Healthwatch.

Doc fix: The House is about halfway to an agreement on a permanent "doc fix," Rep. Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyPelosi blasts California Republicans for supporting tax bill Kudos to Rep. Brady for preserving investment incentives in tax bill Democrats, don't be complicit in GOP tax plan MORE (R-Texas) told Healthwatch on Tuesday. Brady, who chairs the Ways and Means subcommittee on Health, said lawmakers are genuinely working toward a bipartisan agreement this year. They're hoping to take advantage of a major price cut from the Congressional Budget Office, but all the same, finding a way to pay for a permanent fix remains difficult. Read more from our interview with Brady here.

Judge slams FDA: The Food and Drug Administration might need a plan B for its regulation of Plan B. A federal judge hammered the agency Tuesday for lowering its age restrictions on the so-called "morning after pill" rather than removing age restrictions completely. He called it a "nonsense" move motivated by politics rather than science, and called the agency's legal argument "intellectually dishonest," according to media reports. Healthwatch has the story.

Wednesday's agenda

Liberal lawmakers will hold an event with the Alliance for Retired Americans and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare on defending Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits from cuts.

The House Small Business Committee will hold a hearing on the regulatory burden facing small firms.

State by state

As clock ticks, chance for Texas Medicaid expansion dwindles

Georgia enacts physician shield law [free registration required]

California's public retirement system seeking to catch errors, fraud in health enrollment

Lobbying registrations

Van Heuvelen Strategies / Delta Dental Plans Association

Reading list

For health law backers, part of challenge is managing expectations

Christie's weight surgery is option for extremely obese

CDC: Many don't get proper testing for hepatitis C

PCORI awards $88.6M for effectiveness research [free registration required]

What you might have missed on Healthwatch

GOP cites new memo to slam Obama welfare waivers

Bill sets ambitious deadline for ending breast cancer

House GOP weighs reviving contentious ObamaCare fix bill

Report: Christie underwent secret weight loss surgery

Dem says Constitution implies right to healthcare, education

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Please let us know:

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

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