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

Congressional Republicans threw a fit when President Barack Obama said during his State of the Union address this week that he would issue executive orders to forward policies if he couldn't reach an agreement with Congress.

"He's not a king," Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said, warning that House conservatives might just sue Obama if he followed through on his pledge. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) bemoaned Obama's "imperial presidency" in the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal.

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As many as 17,000 Americans will die directly as a result of states deciding not to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, according to a new study.

Researchers from Harvard University and City University of New York have estimated that between 7,115 and 17,104 deaths will be "attributable to the lack of Medicaid expansion in opt-out states" in a study published in Health Affairs.

"The results were sobering," Samuel Dickman, one of the authors, said, according to the Morning Call. "Political decisions have consequences, some of them lethal."

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It appears that the Senate Republicans who put forward their own alternative to Obamacare have quietly refined their proposal, undoing what would have been a significant tax increase on most Americans.

The apparent change centers on the plan's tax treatment of health insurance. Right now, health insurance contributions by employees and their employers are not taxed; the GOP wanted to include a cap on how much of those contributions can remain untaxed.

But the devil is in the details. The original eight-page proposal released by the Senate Republicans -- Richard Burr of North Carolina, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, and Orrin Hatch of Utah -- said that the new cap would be "65 percent of an average plan's costs." Health policy experts told TPM that this would likely result in a big tax increase on most Americans and some would probably lose their insurance.

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A major health insurance company reported Wednesday that its Obamacare sign-ups were higher than its projections, some of the first concrete evidence that the health care reform law is working from the industry's perspective.

Joseph Swedish, CEO of WellPoint, told investors that the company had received 500,000 applications through and its state-operated counterparts. He said the number was "ahead of our most recent projections." He added that applications had spiked in December and the company expects another surge before the March 31 deadline to enroll in coverage for 2014.

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A top House Democrat will retire at the end of the current congressional session.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) will step down in January 2015, he said in a statement released Thursday. He is a close ally of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

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Shipments of crude oil by rail have exploded by more than 8,300 percent since 2006, effectively creating a new industry where one previously didn't exist while regulators scramble to figure out what they should do about it.

What's happening? As the chart indicates, the United States is producing increasing quantities of crude oil -- and the current pipeline infrastructure can't support it, leaving rail as the easiest alternative.

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Rep. Michele Bachmann chastised President Obama for his monarchical ambitions after his State of the Union address Tuesday night and warned that House conservatives were preparing to sue the president if he went too far in exercising his executive power.

“He’s the president of the United States. He’s not a king,” Bachmann said following Obama's speech, the Daily Caller reported. “He may think he’s a king, he may declare himself king, but that’s not what he is under our Constitution.”

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House Republicans are reportedly unhappy with Sen. Rand Paul's decision to give his own response to President Obama's State of the Union address, with a leadership aide ripping the move as "blatant" self-promotion in comments to the Huffington Post.

The aide told the Post that GOP leadership offices were "unhappy" with Paul offering his own response, which competed with the official party reply given by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and a tea party response from Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).

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The House passed Wednesday a new five-year farm bill, the result of long negotiations between that chamber and the Senate, which will cut food stamps in the coming years -- though far less than the House GOP originally wanted.

The bill passed 251-166. It now heads to the Senate, where it is also expected to pass.

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