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

Well, the jig is up: A GOP pollster predicted Friday that Republican rhetoric on Obamacare will change once they have cleared their primaries.

The New York Times reported on the comments made by Bill McInturff, a partner in Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican polling firm, at a conference for the American Association for Public Opinion Research in California.

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On the last Wednesday in January, the RotaCare Tacoma free clinic in Washington state put away the chairs in the university janitor's lunchroom where it had made its home and closed its doors for the last time.

The clinic, served by volunteer physicians and registered nurses, had carried 150 patients at any given time to serve the uninsured population in this city of about 200,000. But after Obamacare took full effect in January, and this clinic completed its drive to enroll all of its patients in coverage, it didn't have anyone left to serve.

So they shut down at the end of January, the first month that health coverage under Obamacare kicked in. The people who worked there don't seem too torn up about it.

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Plenty of people "file" to run for Congress and won't receive, or really warrant, any press attention. But even among that group, Reed McCandless seems to be a special case.

McCandless is challenging Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), one of the more conservative members of Congress, for the Republican nomination. It isn't the first time. He ran against Labrador in 2012 and lost by more than 60 points.

But despite having been on the campaign trail twice in the last two election cycles, McCandless appears to made his position known on only one issue: He believes that the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks included a controlled demolition.

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Another Republican governor proposed another plan Thursday to expand Medicaid under Obamacare -- sort of.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) said while announcing his plan at an Indianapolis hospital that he doesn't want to simply expand the program and take the federal dollars that come with it. He wants to participate in this key piece of a law if, and only if, the federal government accepts his alternative proposal.

"I believe there are only two futures for health care in this country: government-driven health care or consumer-driven health care," said Pence, who added that he still wants the overall law repealed. "Because of the success that Indiana has experienced … my administration is submitting a waiver to replace traditional Medicaid in Indiana."

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Senate Republicans showed a little more enthusiasm in pushing their anti-Obamacare talking points during a confirmation hearing Wednesday for the next Health and Human Services secretary, but the end result was the same: Sylvia Mathews Burwell looks comfortably on her way to heading the agency.

The GOPers on the Senate Finance Committee showed more zeal than their counterparts on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee who questioned the HHS nominee last week. They harped on concerns about the health care law consistently, and Burwell faced the toughest questions of her confirmation so far from Sen. John Thune (R-SD).

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Sooner or later, a Democratic presidential contender is going to be critical of Hillary Clinton. It has happened before and it will happen again.

Already, a few people openly mulling challenges to the presumed frontrunner have issued shots across the Clinton bow. Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer has openly theorized that Hillary could "shift hard right" after her election. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said frankly, "No, I don't think so" when asked if Hillary was the right leader for the political revolution that he believes is needed.

Then there's the elephant in the room: Vice President Joe Biden, the man who would in any other cycle be heir apparent. Aside from the occasional assertion that he is "uniquely qualified" to be president and that Hillary's decision to run or not will not affect his own, Biden has remained quiet while the infrastructure for a Hillary candidacy was built. That infrastructure has included significant support from the Obama veterans who otherwise might have been prepping Biden's own run.

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One of the next big tests for Obamacare's long-term viability -- matched only perhaps by whether people actually like their new coverage -- is what happens to health insurance premiums in 2015.

House Republicans were digging for bad premium news last week, though insurance executives declined to give it to them, and prominent GOPers have sounded the warning bells whenever a headline suggesting skyrocketing prices gets published.

"Americans will be shocked by higher premiums this November," teased the Republican National Committee in late April. House Speaker John Boehner's office tweeted a similar headline the month before. It looks like to be their next big attack on the law.

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Louisiana has dropped its lawsuit against the liberal group, which had aimed to remove the group's billboard that was critical of Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) for not expanding Medicaid under Obamacare.

MoveOn announced Tuesday that the lawsuit had been dropped and that it would keep the billboard up through at least November.

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The state of Kentucky is now defending its right to prohibit same-sex marriage with an unconventional stance: Procreation, the purview of heterosexual couples, is good for the economy, so the state has an obligation to ban gay marriage.

Lawyers for the state filed a brief last week after a federal judge ruled it must recognize gay marriages from other states. The lawyers argued opposite-sex married couples recoup the state for the tax benefits they recieve by procreating and thereby improving the state's economy. Same-sex couples, they argued, do not.

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