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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

The conventional wisdom is that Republicans running in 2014 will be campaigning against Obamacare, attempting to recreate the 2010 magic that saw them make massive gains in Congress and state governments, holding themselves in stark contract to Democrats who are responsible for what the GOP sees as a fatally flawed law.

That's the narrative, and that's what Republican strategists would have you believe. But comments -- or the lack thereof -- from some GOP candidates in state and national elections suggest that opposition might not be as ironclad as previously believed, as the Washington Post's Greg Sargent has documented. In at least one case, in fact, a Republican in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country effectively endorsed the expansion.

It's a huge shift from the "defund or repeal" mantra during the government shutdown of October, a possible indicator that some conservatives are recognizing that Obamacare is here to stay -- and that proposing to knock the newly enrolled off Medicaid is politically perilous.

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A solid majority of Kentucky Republicans support the state's decision to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, according to a new poll, standing in stark contrast to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's opposition to the provision.

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky poll, reported by NPR-affiliated WFPL, found that 60 percent of self-identified Republicans said they support expansion. In total, 79 percent of Kentuckians agree with Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear's decision to expand coverage to low-income people under the health care reform law.

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A federal judge has temporarily blocked a Missouri law that would have placed additional requirements on Obamacare's so-called navigators, groups that have received federal funding to help people sign up for coverage under the law.

U.S. District Judge Ortie Smith issued a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the navigator law. He suggested in his opinion that Missouri lawmakers did not have the authority to regulate the activities of navigators who were working on behalf of HealthCare.gov, the insurance marketplace run by the federal government, which is serving Missouri and 35 other states.

"The Court is of the view that any attempt by Missouri to regulate the conduct of those working on behalf of (HealthCare.gov) is preempted," Smith wrote in his order. "Missouri has opted not to be in the health insurance exchange business."

"Having made the choice to leave the operation of the exchange to the federal government, Missouri cannot choose to impose additional requirements or limitations on the exchange," Smith said. He added that those challenging the law "are likely to prevail" with their argument that the navigator law is preempted by federal statute.

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U.S. Olympic athletes have been warned by the State Department not to wear their uniforms outside the Olympic venues in Sochi, Russia, because of security concerns.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday on a memo that the U.S. Olympic Committee had circulated to U.S. competitors.

"The U.S. Department of State has advised that wearing conspicuous Team USA clothing in non-accredited areas may put your personal safety at greater risk," the memo said.

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Three million Americans have now enrolled in private coverage through Obamacare, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Friday, reflecting a continued increase in sign-ups through the health care reform law.

Sebelius announced the new enrollment number during her remarks in Jacksonville, Fla., and they were reported by Bloomberg's Alex Wayne on Twitter. An administration official confirmed the figure to TPM.

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The U.S. uninsured rate tumbled more than a percentage point from December 2013 to January 2014, according to a new Gallup poll, indicating that millions of Americans became covered at the same time that Obamacare coverage took full effect this month.

The percentage of uninsured Americans fell from 17.3 percent in December to 16.1 percent in January, Gallup found. Among different subsets, the biggest drop was among the unemployed: 6.7 percent.

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Can Coloradans purchase their new-fangled recreational marijuana with food stamps?

The Associated Press calls it "an urban myth." The U.S. Department of Agriculture's guidance appears pretty explicit in forbidding anything like the procurement of narcotics, even legal ones, with government benefits. But Fox News is still sounding the siren that taxpayer dollars could be paying for people to smoke up.

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2013 hasn't exactly been a banner year for the Heritage Foundation, Washington's most well-known and influential conservative think tank.

In its first year under former senator and tea party godfather Jim DeMint, there was a growing consensus -- and concern -- that the foundation once renowned for its intellectual rigor might now be more of a political advocacy outlet than a home for scholarly research, albeit of the conservative variety.

Heritage saw a study on the supposed cost of immigration reform blasted by those within its own ideological sphere as methodologically shoddy. One of its authors was forced to resign after revelations of anti-immigrant views in his earlier work surfaced. Its Obamacare research has come under scrutiny for its inherent bias, as TPM has reported.

Those unforced slip-ups, and its advocacy arm's growing reputation as a bully toward any kind of moderation, have started to call the foundation's reputation into question on Capitol Hill. Conservatives lamented to the New Republic that Heritage had become a political action group "with a research division," burning bridges with the House GOP, something totally foreign to "the gold standard of conservative, forward-looking thought" that it used to be. The foundation's $82 million budget was reportedly being scaled back, with more money flowing to the advocacy efforts that have so chafed Hill Republicans.

That's why Heritage's most recent hire could mark a potential return to normalcy and respectability for the foundation.

The new man is Stephen Moore, most recently of the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, who is joining Heritage as its chief economist. He has previously worked at Heritage in the 1980's, the Cato Institute, and Club for Growth before spending the last nine years at the Journal.

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Some 6.3 million people have enrolled in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program since Oct. 1, when HealthCare.gov and its state counterparts went live, according to a new report from the Obama administration. The report covers Medicaid enrollments through the end of December.

That figures includes people who are newly eligible for Medicaid because their state expanded the program under the health care reform law, people who were already eligible but not enrolled and, in some states, people who were renewing their eligibility.

Thirteen states included renewals in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report, though their exact number out of the 6.3 million could not be determined.

States that expanded Medicaid saw a boom in enrollments in December, corresponding with a similar surge in private coverage enrollees through the insurance marketplaces. Medicaid enrollments were up 73 percent in those states last month compared to the pre-Obamacare monthly average. In states that didn't expand Medicaid, enrollment was up 3 percent in December.

TPMLivewire