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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

Implicit in the GOP's offensive since the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday that millions of Americans would stop working or cut back their hours under Obamacare is that those people are, well, lazy. Maybe it's not their fault, maybe the nanny government is lulling them into complacence. But whatever the reason, it's a bad thing.

House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) said as much at the beginning of Wednesday's hearing on the CBO report.

The law encourages Americans "not to get on the ladder of life, to begin working, getting the dignity of work, getting more opportunities, rising the income, joining the middle class," he said. "This means fewer people will do that."

But, as usual, the real story is more complicated than that. People choosing to work less could actually be a good thing, congressional Democrats have since suggested. It just depends on why they're making that choice.

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Amid a heated debate between the White House and conservatives over how much credit Obamacare can take for enrolling people in Medicaid, a new analysis has an answer: up to 1.8 million.

The White House has touted a bigger number, 6.3 million, which included people who were just renewing their enrollment. Critics said that was misleading; the law can only take credit for those who enrolled because their state expanded the program's eligibility or who were never enrolled but had now after the big sign-up push that accompanied Obamacare's launch.

Avalere Health, an independent consulting firm, estimated that between 1.1 and 1.8 million people have enrolled in Medicaid because of Obamacare. They either qualified through the law's expansion of the program, which 25 states adopted, or because they were already eligible but hadn't enrolled until Obamacare enrollment started on Oct. 1.

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At least one Republican is setting the record straight on what the Congressional Budget Office actually said this week about Obamacare and its effect on jobs.

House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) explained in a Wednesday hearing with CBO director Doug Elmendorf that the health care reform law wouldn't cost the U.S. economy more than 2 million jobs, as many of his colleagues alleged, but that Americans would choose to work less.

"I want to make sure we accurately understand what it is you are saying," Ryan said, before leading Elmendorf through a series of questions to explain the report and its findings.

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A House Republican accused journalist Glenn Greenwald Tuesday of selling stolen material because news outlets are paying for access to the documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

“For personal gain, he’s now selling his access to information, that’s how they’re terming it," House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers (R-MI), said after a hearing that included discussion of the national security leaks, Politico reported.

"A thief selling stolen material is a thief.”

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The GOP spin after the Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday its newest report on Obamacare was that the law would be disastrous for the U.S. economy, killing millions of jobs. But set aside that misreading of the CBO report and there's actually potentially great news in there: the law could end up boosting worker wages.

Business Insider's Josh Barro presented the theory shortly after the report's release. He cited economist Donald Marron, fellow and director of economic policy initiatives at the Urban Institute, who outlined his reasoning in four tweets.

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The Congressional Budget Office issued a new report Tuesday on the federal budget deficit, Obamacare and jobs -- and Official Washington exploded.

It all centered on one line about how the health care reform law would affect employment. CBO actually said that Americans would choose to work less, for various reasons, and that if you translated the fewer hours worked into full-time jobs, it would equal 2.5 million by 2024 (2.3 million by 2021). It didn't say that Obamacare would cost the country 2.5 million jobs, but Republicans said so anyway.

But it wasn't just the GOP, which had a political incentive to take advantage of economic jargon. It was the political press as well. They either misrepresented what the report said -- or shrugged off the actual facts, opting instead to speculate on what the political spin would mean for the horse race.

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Republicans thought they found a gold mine when the Congressional Budget Office released its latest report Tuesday on the federal budget and Obamacare. They seized on one line in particular:

The reduction in CBO’s projections of hours worked represents a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5 million in 2024

They had a new talking point: President Obama's hated health care reform law would cost more than 2 million American jobs.

"Obamacare To Print Even More Pink Slips," read the subject of the Senate Republican conference email blasted out after the report's release.

"Obamacare will cost our nation about 2.5 million jobs," tweeted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC):

“For years, Republicans have said that the president’s health care law creates uncertainty for small businesses, hurts take-home pay, and makes it harder to invest in new workers," Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said in a statement. "The middle class is getting squeezed in this economy, and this CBO report confirms that ObamaCare is making it worse."

The New York Times summed it up by claiming that the CBO report is "providing Republican opponents of the law a powerful political weapon leading up to this year’s midterm elections."

But is that what the CBO actually said or meant? No.

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The White House is pushing back on an emerging Republican line of attack taken from Tuesday's Congressional Budget Office: that Obamacare is going to "cost" more than 2 million jobs.

The full story is more complicated than that, but the GOP seized the top-line number to blast the health care reform law. "Obamacare To Print Even More Pink Slips," Senate Republicans said in a release.

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