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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 dylan@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Dylan

Most state legislatures are opening for business this month, and that means that Medicaid expansion is once again becoming a hot issue. The last year has seen a number of Republican-led states start to bend on the program, and the new legislative sessions offer new opportunities to make headways in red America -- but could also put one pioneering state at risk.

Four or more conservative mainstays could expand Medicaid in the next year, while another state might become the first to back out of the program after first adopting it. Here's what you need to know.

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A conservative group is suing Dallas County, Texas, for allegedly discriminating against white people in violation of the Voting Rights Act. But the catch is that the 5-member county body they're suing about has a majority of white members. The problem, apparently, is that the board is majority Democratic.

"Like something out of the bad old days, a southern electoral body plays naked racial politics, intentionally using its power to minimize a dissenting race’s political sway," according to the lawsuit, filed last week in federal court by the Equal Voting Rights Institute on behalf of individual white plaintiffs.

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When it comes to his legal opinions, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is by far the most sarcastic justice on the bench, according to a new analysis.

Scalia's penchant for biting humor isn't news to most who follow the Court closely, but University of California-Irvine law professor Rick Hasen has put a number on it in an essay published over the weekend.

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Staff at the University of California-Los Angeles have discovered the recording of a 1965 speech by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the university announced this weekend.

The recording has been long forgotten, the university said, until an archivist noticed recently that King had been listed as a campus speaker on April 27, 1965. The archivist then searched through the university's storage rooms until he came across the recording in a cabinet that had been blocked from view in subsequent years.

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Arkansas's unique Medicaid expansion plan survived uncertain re-approval in 2014, and early signs in 2015 suggest the program could run into some trouble again.

The Associated Press reported Sunday that newly elected Republican. Gov. Asa Hutchinson is expected to address the program, which uses Medicaid dollars to pay for private coverage, in a speech this week. Arkansas's plan must be re-approved every year.

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A plurality of Americans believe that race relations are worse under President Barack Obama, according to a new poll.

The Al Jazeera-Monmouth University poll found that 43 percent of Americans think race relations are worse under Obama, 40 percent said there had been no change and 15 percent said they were better.

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Democrats need to gird for a new battle with Republicans over Social Security and be prepared not to yield any ground in defense of the program, one of the leading Democratic senators on the issue told TPM in an interview.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee's Social Security subcommittee, said that Democrats shouldn't be willing to negotiate after House Republicans have stated outright that they want to pursue changes to the program.

Brown also expressed confidence that President Barack Obama would hold strong on Social Security, despite concerns among Social Security advocates that the president has shown a willingness to negotiate over the program in the past.

"We have a president who can use a veto pen and will eagerly do it on something like this," Brown said. He said his confidence in the White House's position "comes from discussions with them."

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68. That's how many times the Congressional Budget Office, Capitol Hill's official scorekeeper, ran the numbers on Obamacare while the law was being drafted. And not once, according to a new analysis, did CBO officials give any credence to the legal challenge now being brought by the law's opponents.

In a review for the Scholars Strategy Network, Harvard University's Theda Skopcol scrutinized 68 reports that CBO released during the 2009 and 2010 debate. She was looking for any evidence that Congress intended for the law's subsidies to be available only on state-run exchanges, as the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell argue. If they prevail at the Supreme Court, health coverage for millions in the 36 states using the federal exchange would be at risk.

She didn't find any.

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With the Supreme Court threatening to gut Obamacare, a top insurance executive says that he is working on a "grand bargain" between the White House and Congress in case that worst-case scenario comes to be.

Reuters reported Thursday on the comments that Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, who has been a frequent critic of the law, made to a small group of investors. He described his ambitions as a "grand bargain" if the Court rules that tax subsidies offered in the 30-plus states using HealthCare.gov are invalid.

"Blowing up the (Affordable Care Act) is like shutting down the government," Bertolini said. "So we are having conversations on both sides of the aisle about what ... things you change in the ACA, what we could introduce, about how to make a grand bargain should the Supreme Court decide."

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Marilyn Tavenner, one of the the top Obama administration officials tasked with implementing the Affordable Care Act, is leaving her post after Februay.

"It is with sadness and mixed emotions that I write to tell you that February will be my last month serving as the Administrator for (the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)," Tavenner said in an email to colleagues on Friday, which was obtained by TPM. Her departure was first reported by the Huffington Post's Jonathan Cohn and Jeffrey Young.

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