Dylan Scott

Dylan Scott is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He previously reported for Governing magazine in Washington, D.C., and the Las Vegas Sun. His work has been recognized with a 2013 American Society of Business Publication Editors award for Best Feature Series and a 2010 Associated Press Society of Ohio award for Best Investigative Reporting. He can be reached at

Articles by Dylan

Obamacare's opponents are running out of options to stop the law.

The Supreme Court upheld it in the summer of 2012. President Obama was re-elected a few months later. The congressional GOP's strategy of shutting down the federal government to de-fund the law proved a disaster.

That might help explain why the conservative movement's latest tactics seem a little more desperate -- and, according to experts, equally unlikely to succeed.

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U.S. Sen Bernie Sanders (I-VT) asked the National Security Agency in a letter Friday if it had spied on members of Congress.

Sanders cited recent revelations that the NSA has collected information on American citizens, actions that he called "clearly unconstitutional," and spied on foreign leaders.

"I am writing today to ask you one very simple question. Has the NSA spied, or is the NSA spying, on members of Congress or other American elected officials?" he wrote in the letter to NSA director Keith Alexander.

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In a letter sent to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 11 Republican state attorneys general slammed the Obama administration's fix for people whose health policies have been canceled under Obamacare, saying that the new policy was based on "illegal executive actions."

The letter, sent Dec. 26 and publicly announced on Thursday, was signed by Republican officials from Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

It addresses a new proposed HHS rule that would formalize President Barack Obama's pledge to allow people to keep their non-Obamacare-compliant health plan, which he made in November after outcry over canceled coverage.

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The director of the embattled Oregon Obamacare website has submitted his resignation, The Oregonian reported Thursday.

Rocky King, who oversaw the website's development, took medical leave on Dec. 2. His resignation will take effect on March 1. King is the fourth official who oversaw a state-based Obamacare website to resign, following officials in Hawaii, Maryland and Minnesota.

Oregon's website, Cover Oregon, has been plagued by problems since its Oct. 1 launch. Residents were forced to submit paper applications, and the marketplace had only enrolled 44 people in private coverage by the end of November.

Belief in evolution among Republicans has dropped more than 10 percentage points since 2009, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center.

Pew found that 43 percent of Republicans said they believed humans and other living beings had evolved over time, down from 54 percent in 2009. More (48 percent) said they believed all living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.

The percentages for Democrats and independents were considerably more stable: Democratic belief in evolution went from 64 percent in 2009 to 67 percent in 2013; independent belief dipped from 67 percent in 2009 to 65 percent in 2013.

Among all American adults, 60 percent said they believe in evolution, according to Pew, and 33 percent do not.

The poll surveyed 1,983 Americans ages 18 and older from March 21 to April 8.

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Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean said Monday that Obamacare's individual mandate "wasn't necessary" and would damage Democrats during the 2014 election.

“The individual mandate was not necessary and it’s probably a big political thing, and that is going to hurt the Democrats because people don’t like to be told what to do by the government no matter what party they’re in,” Dean said on CNBC.

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Almost every Obamacare delay has been met with derision by congressional Republicans, who seize on every adjustment to the law's timeline as evidence that it's not ready to be rolled out.

But one of the administration's most high-profile delays -- the decision to extend the deadline to sign up for January coverage from Dec. 15 to Dec. 23 (and then to Dec. 24) -- has allowed hundreds of thousands of additional people to enroll in coverage.

“As Americans across the nation are gathering to celebrate Christmas with loved ones, right on cue the administration has quietly and unilaterally changed its health care law once again,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (R-MI) said in a statement after the second extension. “Another day, another delay. While the holiday surprises have become commonplace, the latest extension is another disappointment for the ‘most transparent administration in history.’"

But without that additional week-plus, hundreds of thousands of Americans might have gone uninsured in January.

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Two states have said they're cutting off payments to a company that helped construct their Obamacare websites, the same company that was the lead on

But federal officials told TPM that they're not yet planning to take any similar action, though a review process is underway.

The Boston Globe reported Monday that Massachusetts and Vermont were stopping their payments to CGI Federal, one of the technology firms that worked on their sites. Massachusetts has said it wouldn't pay any more of its $69 million contract with the company until its site is fully functional. $11 million has been paid to date. Vermont officials have told CGI that they are withholding a $5.1 million payment because the company missed deadlines and plan to dispute another $1 million in payments.

“I’ve lost confidence in the contractors that were supposed to deliver a fully functioning website on Oct. 1,” Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin told the Globe. “I’m going to continue to hold their feet to the fire until they get it right.”

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