In it, but not of it. TPM DC

An additional 3 million people are now enrolled in Medicaid since Obamacare launched in October, the Obama administration reported Friday, providing some further data points for understanding how the law is covering the uninsured.

Medicaid enrollment had become a point of contention between the law's supporters and critics. The administration had taken credit for any and every one who enrolled in Medicaid since Oct. 1, regardless of whether they were already enrolled in Medicaid before Obamacare kicked in. Some journalists, and conservatives, called those administration figures into question, making the point that Obamacare shouldn't received the credit for people who were already in the program.

But until now, it was difficult to ascertain what percentage of Medicaid enrollments were new and what percentage were renewals.

Friday's figures are the official first attempt by the administration to quantify how many new enrollees could be attributed to Obamacare. Compared to enrollment in September, Medicaid had added 3 million enrollees by the end of February. That number would combine people covered under the law's Medicaid expansion, as well as those who were previously eligible but had not enrolled.

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House Republicans passed another Obamacare repeal bill Thursday, this one indirectly aimed at the law's employer mandate -- but, following in the footsteps of almost all of the other repeal bills that came before it, this is likely the end of the line for the proposal.

The bill passed 248 to 179. But the Senate looks unlikely to take up the bill, and even if it somehow cleared through the upper chamber, the White House has pledged to veto it.

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Amid recent allegations of tea partiers caught rubbing elbows with white supremacists and cock fighters, mainstream Republicans are having a hard time containing their exuberance over the struggling tea party challenger campaigns.

After TPM reported on Thursday that state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-MS) backed out of headlining a gun rights rally thanks to attention on a vendor with questionable views on racial segregation, CNN Crossfire co-host S.E. Cupp tweeted McDaniel was an "ass" for agreeing to attend in the first place.

"When you lie down with dogs, you get fleas," Republican strategist John Feehery told TPM in an email. "This is the problem with the tea party and their candidates. They lack judgement and that lack of judgement makes them poor general election candidates."

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State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-MS), the tea party candidate in the Mississippi Senate race, was listed as the keynote speaker at a gun rights event along with a Confederate memorabilia store owner who has advocated for racial segregation -- and backed out of it when it was highlighted by a state political blog.

As of 2 p.m. on Wednesday McDaniel had been listed as the keynote speaker at the Combined Firearm Freedom Day/Tea Party Music Fest in Guntown, Mississippi on May 17. McDaniel was listed as the primary headliner of the event alongside a number of tea party groups, McDaniel's campaign manager, who is also a state senator, and a seller of American Revolution relics and Confederate memorabilia called Pace Confederate Depot.

The online store's owner, Brian Pace, founded the Council of White Patriot Voters in 2011 and is quoted in a local news report as saying "whenever we had racial segregation things were much better off."

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House Republicans will vote on Thursday to repeal yet another piece of Obamacare: the provision that sets 30 hours as the threshold for defining full-time employees, raising it to 40 hours. A company's compliance with the law's employer mandate depends on its number of full-time employees, so fewer full-time workers would presumably lighten the mandate's load on businesses.

If that seems like small potatoes for the party after its leaders continued to advocate for full repeal this week, here's why: The Obama administration has outmaneuvered Republicans on Obamacare, and the opposition party doesn't have many options left in its quest to roll back any part of the law. The administration already made unilateral alterations to unpopular pieces of the law, drawing bewildered reactions even from supporters.

But by making changes itself, the White House hasn't let the GOP get in on the game, despite the party's unending stream of anti-Obamacare bills -- therefore denying Republicans the opportunity to extract the high-profile pound of flesh from the law that they've been seeking for years.

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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal circulated the outlines of his ambitious new health care plan to reporters in Washington on Wednesday, insisting that Republicans "can't be the party of no; we have to be the party of ideas."

The blueprint repeals Obamacare and proposes to replace it with popular conservative ideas like health care tax breaks for individuals, letting people buy insurance across state lines, health savings accounts, tort reform, partially privatizing Medicare, and turning Medicaid over to the states.

It's mostly vague. But where Jindal -- a second-term governor with 2016 presidential ambitions -- does get specific, the fatal flaws with his plan emerge.

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