In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Last week, a very confused customer came in looking for help from Lynne Thorp, an Obamacare navigator in southwest Florida. She was in her early 60s and had been diagnosed with cancer, which had prevented her from working for more than a year. She was enrolled in Medicaid's "medically needy" program, which offers some level of coverage for people with serious illnesses, but doesn't satisfy the health reform law's individual mandate. It was too expensive anyway; she'd been skipping radiation and hadn't seen a doctor for two months.

The woman told Thorp that she just wanted to find out if she qualified for an exemption so she wouldn't have to pay the mandate penalty. She had already called the state's Medicaid office, and they had told her that she didn't qualify for any coverage except the medically needy program (Florida has not expanded Medicaid under Obamacare).

But that wasn't right, Thorp discovered. The woman qualified for Obamacare's tax credits to help her purchase a private plan. She eventually bought a plan that would cost her $19 a month. The woman was in tears by the time she finished signing up.

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Since Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has been making serious moves toward running for president in 2016, he's modified his rhetoric on immigration reform. In the past, Walker focused his arguments on fixing the nation's broken immigration system and figuring out a way to properly incorporate the millions of immigrants living in the country illegally. Now, the Wisconsin governor's comments are far more focused on his opposition to "amnesty" and the importance of border security.

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More than 11 million people signed up for Obamacare coverage this year, beating the goals that the Obama administration had set before enrollment began in November. But look past that top-line number for Year Two and there is evidence that the law could face significant enrollment challenges in Year Three, Year Four, and beyond.

The 11.4 million enrollments (pending premium payment) is up from the 7.3 million sign-ups last year. Most of that growth, though, was in the federally-run marketplace, which serves 36 states. Enrollment in those states increased by 58 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to an initial analysis by Avalere Health, an independent consulting firm. In the state-run exchanges, enrollment grew by a much more modest 9 percent.

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The constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act started with a conference call months before the bill even became law.

Henry McMaster, then the attorney general of South Carolina, got 10 of his fellow Republican attorneys general on the phone in December 2009. He told them that he wanted to challenge the so-called "Cornhusker kickback" that was being proposed in the U.S. Senate to win the vote of then-Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE). After they agreed to come onboard, the attorneys general sent a letter to congressional leadership and warned that they would challenge the provision if it made it into the law.

The kickback was taken out, but it gave then-Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum an idea, he told TPM recently in an interview. His office had already been studying whether the law's individual mandate and Medicaid expansion might be unconstitutional. McCollum called McMaster and asked if he wanted to join him in challenging the law's most crucial components.

McMaster agreed. Once again, they rounded up a few of their colleagues in other states, including then-Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, for another call. Once the core group was formed, they started shopping the lawsuit -- being prepared for a law that hadn't actually been passed yet -- to others over the following months.

As more states came onboard, the chiefs of staff for the attorneys general began holding weekly conference calls to keep things running smoothly. Different states wanted to vet different briefs or write parts of the complaint. It wasn't always smooth -- Abbott's office scoffed at McCollum filing the lawsuit in Florida instead of Texas, according to Josh Blackman"s "Unprecedented" -- but the same day Obama signed the law, March 23, 2010, the states filed their lawsuit.

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