In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) agreed to expand Medicaid under Obamacare Tuesday, but you'd be forgiven for not catching that if you actually listened to what he had to say.

"I believe Medicaid is not a program we should expand. It's a program that we should reform," Pence said. "That's exactly what we're accomplishing."

His office didn't mention the Affordable Care Act when announcing the plan, which will cover up to 350,000 low-income Indianans. When Pence's PR team tweeted a timeline of the state program being used to expand Medicaid in that state, they skipped over the 2010 passage of Obamacare. But Pence has accepted Medicaid expansion dollars authorized by Obamacare to pay for this alternative plan -- which the Obama administration had to approve.

An Obama administration official had actually primed TPM to be ready for Pence's semantical theatrics. That's because it's become the norm. More Republican-led states are signing onto the key Obamacare program, but they are very reluctant to call it that.

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Democrats are giving Senate Republicans a taste of their own medicine.

The new minority is pulling out all the stops to stymie Sen. Mitch McConnell's first bill as majority leader — legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which faces a veto threat from President Barack Obama.

And in a possible sign of trouble to come for the Kentucky Republican, Democrats are having some success — even though plenty of their own members support the pipeline. A vote to end debate on the legislation failed on Monday afternoon, 53-39, falling short of the 60 votes required to defeat a filibuster.

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The quiet blow that Republicans dealt to Obamacare in the so-called CRomnibus spending bill passed last month has now helped contribute to the shuttering of one of the law's co-op health plans, as experts told TPM it might.

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart announced Monday that his office would request that CoOpportunity Health, a non-profit health plan created under the health care reform law, be liquidated. Gerhart's office had taken over control of the plan in December amid financial struggles, per the Wall Street Journal.

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It's undisputed that virtually everyone had — for years — construed the Affordable Care Act to allow subsidies for Americans even if their state didn't set up an insurance exchange. But the Justice Department wants it to be clear that "everyone" includes the four conservative justices on the Supreme Court who voted to wipe out Obamacare in 2012 and will now hear a new challenge to the law.

In the government's brief defending the ACA, filed with the Supreme Court on Wednesday, DOJ returns on three occasions to the language of the joint dissent of the conservative justices in NFIB v. Sebelius. Justice Antonin Scalia was the de facto leader of the conservatives in that case, who nearly derailed Obamacare until Chief Justice John Roberts, much to the ire of his fellow legal conservatives, joined with the Court's liberal justices to mostly save President Barack Obama's signature legislative achievement.

With Obamacare under the legal gun yet again, the government is using the words of the dissenting justices to suggest they themselves interpreted the statute then as the White House does now when it comes to the core question in the new case, King v. Burwell: Does the ACA allow subsidies on the federal exchange?

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Conservatives have long searched for an effective message against Social Security. Now, they seem to have found a new one to try as they set up a fight over the 80-year-old program in the coming Congress: The disabled are robbing the retired.

Social Security advocates describe it almost invariably as the "divide-and-conquer" strategy: Pit the program's two funds -- the retirement and disability programs -- against each other. The disability fund won't be able to pay its full benefits starting in late 2016, and House Republicans passed a rule earlier this month stating that they won't allow a transfer of tax revenue from the retirement fund to cover the shortfall, as has been done multiple times on a bipartisan basis, most recently in 1994, unless Social Security's overall solvency is improved.

Republicans have been clear that they intend to use the need for reallocation as leverage to force a debate about the disability program -- and perhaps, some conservatives hope and Democrats warn, Social Security as a whole.

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