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

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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At least one veteran of the first Clinton administration is willing to bet that there won't be a second.

Mike McCurry, who served as President Bill Clinton's press secretary from 1994 to 1998, told Real Clear Politics that he might be the "last person in Washington" who thinks Hillary Clinton might skip another run at the White House.

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With Obamacare's coverage expansion fully underway, health care providers have started to notice changes. The Washington Post reported on Monday that hospitals operating in states that expanded Medicaid under the law are seeing notably fewer uninsured patients.

Wonkblog's Jason Millman delved into earnings calls for publicly traded hospitals and noticed the trend. In expanding states, the number of uninsured people that hospitals saw was going down significantly. But in non-expanding states, the shift was much less pronounced, if it was occurring at all.

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Needling Hillary Clinton is something of a favorite pastime for Republicans -- while also part of a very conscious effort to undercut her presidential candidacy before it officially gets started.

But while much of the stone-throwing has been left to the paid operatives at America Rising PAC and elsewhere, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has lately seemed to relish in getting in on the action. From Monica Lewinsky to National Security Agency wiretapping to Benghazi, he has been attacking the Clintons frequently and from all angles in recent months.

What is impossible to ignore, of course, is that Paul is a presumed 2016 contender himself. There is some disagreement on the right on what exactly his angle is. Is this simply red meat for the base? Or is he shoring up his general election bonafides? His camp, meanwhile, insists that he's just talking about the issues he cares about.

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