Overnight Healthcare: Brady picked to lead Ways and Means

Rep. Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyGOP lawmaker pushes back on Trump drug pricing proposal Tax law failed to save GOP majority Overnight Health Care — Presented by The Partnership for Safe Medicines — Juul halts retail sales for most flavored e-cigs | CDC confirms 90 cases of rare polio-like illness | Physicians push back on Trump plans to redefine gender MORE (R-Texas) was tapped to lead the powerful Ways and Means panel on Wednesday, bringing with him an ambitious agenda that includes major Medicare reforms and the repeal of ObamaCare taxes.

Brady, who served on the panel since 1997 and previously chaired the health subcommittee, told The Hill this summer he is eying the repeal of the so-called "Cadillac" tax among other unpopular ObamaCare provisions.

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The Texas Republican is also pursuing a two-year effort to reform Medicare, which he hopes will ultimately change the way people pay into the program by introducing "premium-supported" plans. It's a long-controversial idea. Still, lawmakers from Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHow this year’s freshmen can save the Congress — and themselves Democrat Katie Porter unseats GOP's Mimi Walters Amazon fleeced New York, Virginia with HQ2 picks MORE (R-Wis.) to Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Russian-linked hackers may have impersonated US officials | Trump signs DHS cyber bill | Prosecutors inadvertently reveal charges against Assange | Accenture workers protest border enforcement work | App mines crypto for bail bonds Dems demand answers from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint on internet throttling claims Warren, 2020 Dems target private immigration detention center operators MORE (D-Ore.) have said they'd support a premium-backed model.

He has also said he'll build a package that raises payments for Medicare doctors, hospitals and post-acute care providers.

Brady, the panel's most-senior Republican after Ryan, beat out Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio), who ranked number four on the panel. Brady had previously been leapfrogged by Ryan for the chairmanship.

The entire House GOP conference is expected to ratify the Steering panel's pair of decisions in a special meeting on Thursday. Read more here.

OBAMA BEGINS HEALTHCARE MEDIA BLITZ: President Obama will give interviews to local news outlets from key areas like Tampa, Atlanta, Dallas, Kansas City and Seattle this week as he kicks off his annual pitch for open enrollment.

On Wednesday, Obama also joined a conference call with Affordable Care Act in-person assisters and volunteers urging them to be "more creative" as they seek new sign-ups and to push back against "misinformation."

"We want to reach a lot of folks who still haven't signed up but are eligible, and we're anticipating we're not going to have the same amount of national media attention we had in the past," Obama said, according to a readout of the call. "We've got to be a little more creative and we've got to talk about the most important thing that those that are still eligible for insurance, and that is affordability."

All the activity is a sign Obama is becoming personally involved in trying to boost the number of people covered under ObamaCare as its third enrollment season begins. Read more here

MORE FIREWORKS IN PLANNED PARENTHOOD FIGHT: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has picked six strong abortion rights supporters for the GOP-led panel on Planned Parenthood, setting up a showdown over the already-controversial probe.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a leading member of the House Pro-Choice Caucus, was picked as the top Democrat on the panel. The others are Reps. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Diana DeGette (Colo.), Jackie Speier (Calif.), Suzan DelBeneSuzan Kay DelBeneNew York Dem announces bid to lead Dem House campaign arm Bustos launches bid to head House Dems’ campaign arm The Hill's Morning Report — Washington resets after midterms, Sessions fired MORE (Wash.) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.).

As she announced the lineup Wednesday, Pelosi vowed that the Democrats would "stand up against the latest Republican assault on women's health."

It will be the only congressional committee to have females in the top two positions, with Schakowsky representing the Democrats and Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnTennessee New Members 2019 McConnell reelected as leader, Thune promoted to whip Rick Scott appears with GOP senators, ignores voter fraud question as recount continues MORE (R-Tenn.) at the helm for Republicans. Read more here.

CANCER SOCIETY JOINS CHORUS ON CADILLAC TAX: The American Cancer Society announced Wednesday that it has officially joined the national campaign to repeal the so-called "Cadillac" tax.  

Chris Hansen, president of the political arm of the Cancer Society, said the 40 percent tax would have "a direct impact on the continued affordability of employer-sponsored health insurance" – which he said improves the chances of surviving cancer. 

The coalition leading the push for repeal – The Alliance to Fight the 40 – touted the latest endorsement as proof of mounting momentum for its cause. 

Thursday's schedule

The House Energy and Commerce committee holds a hearing on ObamaCare co-op failures.

Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) will discuss mental health legislation at the National Press Club.

What we're reading

Ben Carson's Medicare muddle

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpMia Love pulls ahead in Utah race as judge dismisses her lawsuit Trump administration denies exploring extradition of Erdoğan foe for Turkey Trump congratulates Kemp, says Abrams will have 'terrific political future' MORE and the vitamin company that went bust 

State by state

Republican victory in Kentucky governor's race is a blow to ObamaCare 

GOP views of Medicaid expansion differ from conventional wisdom 

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PhRMA fights back

Dems accuse GOP of blocking probe into drug prices  

Please send tips and comments to Sarah Ferris, sferris@thehill.com, and Peter Sullivan, psullivan@thehill.com. Follow on Twitter: @thehill, @sarahnferris, @PeterSullivan4