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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

If you're rich, white, healthy and already insured, you probably don't like Obamacare, according to a new analysis by the Urban Institute.

Those were the groups with some of the highest opposition to the health care reform law, the poll found, with a plurality or majority expressing an unfavorable view. More than half of whites (51 percent) opposed the law; 45 percent of those who said they were already insured did as well.

The trend followed with 44 percent of those who make above 400 percent of the federal poverty level, i.e. ineligible for tax help under the law, opposing it; 44 percent of those who reported they were in very good or excellent health said the same.

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President Barack Obama said Monday that Congress should approve an aid package for the interim government in Ukraine.

Obama, making remarks during his state visit with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that if Congress is looking for ways to help as the administration grapples with the ongoing standoff between Ukraine and Russia, they should pass an aid package.

Lawmakers should "work with the administration to provide a package of assistance to Ukraine," Obama said. "I would hope that would be the first order of business."

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for more details about what any aid package should look like.

A Indiana GOP operative allegedly offered "unlimited" campaign cash in exchange for Republican lawmakers' votes against a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage.

According to the Associated Press, Jim Kittle, former state Republican Party chairman, made the offer to House Speaker Brian Bosma (R) -- a pledge to help protect any GOP lawmakers who voted against the proposed ban if they faced a primary challenge from the right.

Bosma had previously said that he had received the offer, according to the AP, but had not disclosed who it was. The news agency cited "multiple people with direct knowledge of the discussion" in identifying Kittle as the person who made the offer.

No money ever exchanged hands, according to the AP, because Bosma questioned whether the offer was legal. "I did bring to that individual's attention what it sounded like he was saying and I think he was pretty concerned about it after he said it," Bosma said.

The Indiana legislature considered last month a constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage, but parliamentary maneuvering in both chambers pushed the issue off for now, delivering a victory to opponents of the ban.

TPM contacted the U.S. attorney and FBI offices in Indianapolis. "We don't confirm or deny investigations or whether or not there is one," Wendy Osborne, a special agent at the FBI's Indianapolis division, told TPM over the phone.

"I cannot comment on this matter," Tim Horty, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of Indiana, told TPM in an email.

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The Republican Governors Association is attacking the South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate for supporting Obamacare's Medicaid expansion -- even though several RGA members, including its chair, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, have adopted the expansion.

The Washington Post reported that the RGA had made a $200,000 buy to air a new ad against State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, who is challenging Republican Gov. Nikki Haley for the South Carolina governorship.

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Behind the "religious freedom" movement that burst onto the national scene last week, thanks to the controversial Arizona bill that finally died by Gov. Jan Brewer's veto pen, are -- perhaps unsurprisingly -- several conservative groups with deep pockets and a national reach.

They quickly deny that there's any vast right-wing conspiracy in play, and they're probably right. The societal forces in motion here go beyond the control of any specific interest groups, and there is evidence that the movement is, at least in part, spreading organically. But the bills that have now brought the issue into the national consciousness do have some common origins.

In the wake of the Arizona's bill's defeat and the simultaneous death of other legislation across the country, these groups appear to be distancing themselves from that defeat. They consult with lawmakers nationwide, they say, on a variety of issues. Nothing sinister in that.

"This whole implication that there's conspiracy going on behind the scenes is really laughable," Greg Scott, vice president at the Alliance Defending Freedom, which consulted on the Arizona bill and a similar Ohio bill introduced a month earlier, told TPM in a phone interview. Another group, the American Religious Freedom Project, told TPM that it had advised Kansas lawmakers on their bill.

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Another Arizona anti-gay bill that had largely flown under the radar could be coming up for a vote in the state House, the Arizona Republic reported Friday. The bill would allow judges and other public officials to decline to perform same-sex marriages based on their religious beliefs.

According to the legislature's website, the bill was introduced on Jan. 28. The House Government Committee approved it with a "do pass" recommendation on Feb. 4, and the House Rules Committee cleared it on Feb. 18.

The Republic reported that the legislation was "awaiting debate" in front of the full House.

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House Republicans will vote yet again next week to delay Obamacare's individual mandate for a year, the Washington Examiner reported.

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) has introduced a bill that would effectively delay the mandate by eliminating the penalty for not having insurance in 2014 -- formally, it would be $0 -- and pushing the law's penalty of $95 or 1 percent of one's income to 2015.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's office confirmed to the Examiner that the House would vote on the bill next week. A one-year delay of the mandate was one of the numerous Obamacare-related gambits that House Republicans made during last fall's government shutdown.

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More than a decade ago, Arkansas Rep. Josh Miller (R) was in a catastrophic car accident that broke his neck and left him paralyzed. Medicare and Medicaid paid the $1 million bill for his hospitalization and rehabilitation.

But this week, as the Arkansas legislature has debated continuing its privatized Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, Miller has remained steadfast in his opposition.

The Arkansas Times highlighted the contrast in a Thursday report. The alternative newspaper reported that Miller receives ongoing coverage through the government programs, including Medicaid-covered personal care assistance.

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If the events of the last week are any indication, the anti-gay movement personified in the Arizona bill vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer Wednesday has already hit its high-watermark.

At the beginning of this month, by TPM's count, bills had been introduced in at least eight states that would legitimize discrimination against LGBT people. The Arizona bill advanced the farthest, clearing the state legislature before Brewer rejected it with her veto stamp. The rest are dead or dying.

Though they expect future fights, gay rights advocates portrayed this week as a "turning point" in the debate.

"I suspect the bright spotlight that’s been put on the broad potential adverse consequences means that a great many legislators and most governors now will think much harder about these bills and be reluctant to endorse them," Jenny Pizer, senior counsel at Lambda Legal, a gay rights organization, told TPM. "I do believe we’ve just witnessed a turning-point moment against these bills. But I also don’t expect the folks who hold this worldview to give up their political goals without further popular repudiation.

"We’ll probably see multiple further attempts before the book can be closed on this tactic."

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