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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

As of Feb. 1, nearly 3.3 million Americans have enrolled in private health coverage through Obamacare, the Obama administration reported Wednesday.

January was the first individual month that the law beat its pre-launch projections, a major turnaround from HealthCare.gov's dark opening months. The initial estimate of 7 million enrollees by March 31 seems at least plausibly within reach.

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Obamacare had its second-best enrollment month in January, adding more than 1 million people to its rolls, much improved from the law's rough opening months. The drop was expected after December's key enrollment deadline, but didn't slow the sign-ups as much as anticipated.

The 1.1 million enrollments as of Feb. 1 bring the law's total to 3.3 million -- still behind its projected totals ahead of the Oct. 1 launch, which had anticipated that many sign-ups by the end of December. But after the law signed up a fraction of its expected enrollees in October and November -- before HealthCare.gov was declared fixed -- it's continued positive news for the law, administration officials said.

According to the Washington Post's Sarah Kliff, January was the first individual month that Obamacare beat its pre-launch projected enrollment.

"These encouraging trends show that more Americans are enrolling every day, and finding quality, affordable coverage in the marketplace,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.

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Once again, a federal judge nodded to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in striking down part of a state's ban on same-sex marriage.

In ruling Wednesday that Kentucky must recognize out-of-state gay marriages, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II referenced Scalia's dissents in the Court's decisions to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act and strike down state laws that ban sodomy.

It wasn't as big a rhetorical bear hug as the outspoken conservative justice received in December from the federal judge who overturned Utah's prohibition on same-sex marriage, but it was further evidence of Scalia's prescience when he declared that the DOMA decision would inevitably undercut state laws on marriage.

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The 2003 Miss America, who is challenging a Republican incumbent for a U.S. House seat, says potential donors are being intimidated by unnamed parties and warned not to give money to her campaign.

Erika Harold, a Harvard Law School graduate who is running against sitting congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL) in the Republican primary, made the allegations in an interview with the State Journal-Register's editorial board.

“There are absolutely people who say to me, ‘I cannot give because I have been told I cannot give to your campaign,’” Harold said.

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In one of their last ploys to undercut Obamacare before it becomes firmly entrenched, conservatives are arguing that people who purchase coverage through HealthCare.gov shouldn't be allowed to receive financial help from the law.

They insist Congress intended for the assistance to be available only through state-run websites as a way of forcing states to create them. The only problem is: The people who actually wrote the law say they're wrong.

Two staff-level sources directly involved in drafting the law told TPM that no one intended to block subsidies from being administered through the federal website. Instead, they blame the poorly worded phrase on which conservative have based their case on the unusual legislative process through which Obamacare became law.

"I don't even understand how the question is being asked," one source said, "except you could go through the law and find all sorts of issues that probably could have been drafted clearer. I think the opponents of health reform are just scanning for inconsistencies and poorly drafted language and trying to exploit them."

"It never crossed anyone's mind that tax credits couldn't be accessed through the federal exchange," a second source told TPM, "because that would make no sense and isn't consistent with the clear intent and structure of the statute."

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"Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson's controversial remarks over homosexuals haven't hurt him at home in Louisiana: The reality TV mainstay would top sitting Democratic senator Mary Landrieu in a hypothetical match-up, according to a new poll.

Robertson would beat Landrieu 46 percent to 42 percent, according to Public Policy Polling, if he ran for office. His overall favorability in the state would be enviable for most politicians: 45 percent favorable, and 19 percent unfavorable. Landrieu's job approval sits at 37 percent approval and 52 percent disapproval.

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President Barack Obama touted the Affordable Care Act's ability to give Americans more flexibility in their work life, a popular topic of debate since the Congressional Budget Office concluded that people would choose to work less under the law.

"If I am working in a big company like IBM and Google and I decide I want to start my own company, I am not going to be inhibited for starting a new company because I am worried about keeping health insurance for myself and my family," Obama said at a Tuesday press conference. "I can make that move."

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A South Dakota legislative committee blocked a measure Monday that would have allowed the state's voters to decide in November if they wanted to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.

The Associated Press reported that the resolution was defeated along party lines, with seven Republicans voting against it and two Democrats supporting it in the State Affairs Committee. The Republicans said that allowing voters to make a decision that should be left to the legislature would set a bad precedent.

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