OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Dems continue assault on GOP budget

Shutdown countdown: As the 2012 budget debate is just getting fired up, the 2011 fight still needs a resolution. The House will likely vote Thursday on another stop-gap measure, and Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidBarr fails to persuade Cruz on expanded background checks Harry Reid warns Trump 'can be reelected' Homeland Security Republican accuses Navy of withholding UFO info MORE (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBoehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush Meadows to be replaced by Biggs as Freedom Caucus leader Scaramucci compares Trump to Jonestown cult leader: 'It's like a hostage crisis inside the White House' MORE (R-Ohio) are headed to the White House on Wednesday night for budget talks. The Hill's Russell Berman has the story.

King sees lost leverage: Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) told reporters Wednesday that the continuing resolution is Republicans' last chance this year to block significant funding for healthcare reform. He had previously said the debt limit would offer another opportunity, but he thinks lawmakers will have their own separate wish lists for that vote. Healthwatch's Jason Millman has the story

Helping small biz: Three Republican senators Wednesday asked the Small Business Administration how the agency "is protecting small businesses from the onslaught of new regulations that are being implemented as part of the healthcare reform." Republican Sens. Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziHere are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 Liz Cheney and Rand Paul extend war of words The Hill's Morning Report - 2020 Democrats set for Lone Star showdown MORE (Wyo.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (Utah) and Olympia Snowe (Maine) noted that almost 6,600 pages of federal regulations have been published on healthcare reform during the past year. Check out the letter.

State lawmakers urge against federal tort reform: The National Conference of State Legislatures is urging House Republicans to abandon efforts to dramatically reshape federal medical liability laws. The bipartisan group of state lawmakers say those decisions should be left up to the individual states. Meanwhile, Republicans have been pitching tort reform as a major piece of their efforts to "replace" healthcare reform, pointing to a projected $40 billion in deficit reduction cited by the CBO. Read the Healthwatch story

Hospital Compare launches: Medicare on Wednesday launched a new website that allows consumers to check out hospital-acquired condition (HAC) rates at nearly 4,700 hospitals. Hospital groups, who aren't huge fans of how Medicare calculates HACs, are unhappy that Medicare has made the information easily accessible. Read the Healthwatch post.

Another repeal bill: The latest bill to eliminate a healthcare reform provision comes from Rep. Charles BoustanyCharles William BoustanyMarch tariff increase would cost 934K jobs, advocacy group says Bottom Line On The Money: US adds 155k jobs in November | Unemployment holds at 3.7 percent | Wage growth strengthening | Trump signs stopgap spending bill delaying shutdown MORE (R-La.). H.R. 1370 would repeal an annual tax on health insurers that starts in 2014. 

Bipartisan group looks to improve Alzheimer's care: House and Senate lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday to provide Medicare coverage for comprehensive diagnoses of Alzheimer’s disease. Reps. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyDefense bill talks set to start amid wall fight Kennedy to challenge Markey in Senate primary Overnight Energy: Trump tweets he's revoking California's tailpipe waiver | Move comes as Trump visits state | California prepares for court fight | Climate activist Greta Thunberg urges lawmakers to listen to scientists MORE (D-Mass.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Michael BurgessMichael Clifton BurgessTrump officials propose easing privacy rules to improve addiction treatment House approves bill raising minimum wage to per hour The 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran MORE (R-Texas) and Jim McDermottJames (Jim) Adelbert McDermottBottom Line Promoting the voice of Korean Americans Lobbying World MORE (D-Wash.) are spearheading a House bill, while Sens. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowDemocrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' Conservatives offer stark warning to Trump, GOP on background checks USDA cuts payments promised to researchers as agency uproots to Kansas City MORE (D-Mich.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan Sinema touts bipartisan record as Arizona Democrats plan censure vote The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico MORE (R-Maine) introduced a Senate bill.

Dialysis Patient Citizens announced that Hrant Jamgochian, former director of health policy for United Way Worldwide, is joining the group as its new executive director.

Thursday's agenda:

Abortion bill gains momentum: The Rules Committee will debate H.R. 3, which would ban tax breaks for health insurance plans that offer abortion services.

Abortion-rights rally: Abortion-rights group, including Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America, rally on the Capitol to blast a slew of bills that would place new restrictions on access to abortion. The groups will get some star power, with Ed Harris and other actors scheduled to make speeches.

Focus on TBI: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) advocates meet Thursday in the Capitol to highlight the "treatment gap" for individuals they represent. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's (D-Ariz.) health staffer and Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) are scheduled to speak.

Bad report: Docs4PatientCare, which opposes healthcare reform, will issue a paper that gives a negative review of the law. The group will unveil the paper in the Budget Committee hearing room in a panel discussion with Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) and the Galen Institute.

Reading list:

A new survey finds 72 percent of American adults think the healthcare system needs a major overhaul, U.S. News & World Report writes

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told progressive bloggers that Ryan's Medicare proposal "has to be snuffed out," the Huffington Post writes

Democrats are planning to use Ryan's Medicare and Medicaid overhauls to their advantage in Senate races, The Washington Post writes.

A New Hampshire executive council agrees to take federal money to study how the state can establish a health insurance exchange, the Concord Monitor reports.

The price of healthcare in Canada is set to spike dramatically during the next 20 years, The National Post reports.

Comments / complaints / suggestions?

Please let us know:

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

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