In it, but not of it. TPM DC

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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A new poll released Wednesday showed former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice leading almost two dozen names in the race for Sen. Barbara Boxer's (D-CA) Senate seat, including California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D).

But Rice's chief of staff said that the former secretary of State still isn't interested in jumping into the race and is happing teaching at Stanford University.

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Everybody knows that if the Supreme Court rules later this year to invalidate Obamacare's tax subsidies in the 30-plus states using the federal HealthCare.gov, it will be a massive blow to the law. More than 9 million people could lose their health insurance and the law's insurance markets could be sent into an actuarial death spiral.

But that isn't the whole story. An adverse Court decision would also completely neuter Obamacare's employer mandate in more than half the states, further weakening the law's ability to achieve its goal of universal and adequate health coverage.

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The definitive Democratic counterproposal in the fledgling fight over Social Security is starting to emerge, and it has a familiar ring in the era of income inequality politics: tax the rich.

More specifically, Democrats are proposing to raise or eliminate the cap on Social Security taxes. Those taxes are currently collected up to $118,500 of a person's income, and any income above that is Social Security tax-free. The liberal Center for American Progress said in a new report last week that the program had lost $1.1 trillion over the last 30 years because of it.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced last week that he would propose eliminating the cap for income above $250,000. His office estimated that that would keep Social Security solvent until 2060; the program is currently projected to start running out of money in 2033.

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