K4zw8el802c2lczjp9fi

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

Medicaid expansion is making progress. As TPM reported yesterday, even states as conservative as Wyoming are coming around. Others like Indiana and Pennsylvania are making progress as well. But a handful remain hardened in their opposition. They are largely contained to the South, and that means that the people being left out of Obamacare's safety-net expansion are disproportionately poor blacks.

Nelson Lichtnestein, director of the University of California-Santa-Barbara's Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy, flagged the ongoing disparity in an email to TPM on Monday, responding to the Wyoming story. "There is a large elephant that escapes your notice," he said. "Republican governors in North and West are indeed climbing aboard, but not those in the South."

Read More →

Few states are as conservative as Wyoming. Nearly 70 percent of its voters went for Mitt Romney in 2012. Out of 90 legislative seats, 78 are held by Republicans. A Republican governor. It also epitomizes the independent streak found in the West, defined by a deep distrust of the federal government.

But even there, state officials are starting to open up to the idea of expanding Medicaid under Obamacare. The legislature requested earlier this year that Gov. Matt Mead (R) meet with the Obama administration to discuss the state's options. Mead's office told TPM that the governor met with staff from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the first time in July. Mead said recently that he would present expansion options to the legislature early next year.

"At the end of the day, the expansion failed the first time because of that federal distrust and general disdain for the current administration," state Sen. Chris Rothfuss (D), who has been a leading proponent of the expansion, told TPM. "It doesn't matter who's in the White House. The state of Wyoming is not fond of the federal government. But right now, it's probably even worse."

Read More →

This March, as an alternative of sorts to the Affordable Care Act, Florida's Republican-led government launched a health insurance website called Florida Health Choices. It had no relation to HealthCare.gov, the federal Obamacare website, and offered limited-benefit options that cover things like prescription drugs and dental or vision services.

But since the launch of the Republican alternative, Florida Health Choices has signed up 30 people, the Tampa Bay Times reported Friday. By comparison, 984,000 Floridians enrolled in private coverage under Obamacare and 764,000 low-income residents were unable to obtain any kind of coverage through the federal law because the GOP- controlled state legislature refused to expand Medicaid.

Read More →

In a growing trend, Tennessee looks like it will be the next Republican-led state to move toward expanding Medicaid under Obamacare.

The Tennessean reported that Gov. Bill Haslam (R) said Thursday that Tennessee would aim to submit a Medicaid expansion plan to the Department of Health and Human Services "some time this fall." The program would cover more than 150,000 low-income residents in the state.

Read More →

In anticipation of an upcoming Hillary Clinton speech on clean energy, one of the groups laying the groundwork for her presumed 2016 presidential campaign is talking up the former Secretary of State's record on climate change.

Clinton is scheduled to give the keynote address at the National Clean Energy Summit this Thursday in Las Vegas. Correct the Record, the rapid response outfit in the proto-Hillary 2016 campaign infrastructure, shared with TPM new talking points detailing her record on climate change at the State Department.

The group has been regularly releasing reports outlining Clinton's record on various issues, from LGBT rights to income equality, for months. They are part of the group's overall mission of greasing the wheels for Clinton's various public appearances and putting a positive spin on her past work -- all in the context of an anticipated 2016 run.

Read More →

Pennsylvania and the Obama administration have reached a deal to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, the administration announced Thursday.

The state, under Gov. Tom Corbett (R), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have been negotiating for much of the last year to expand coverage to 500,000 low-income Pennsylvanians. Under the waiver approved by CMS on Thursday, coverage will start in January 2015.

Both sides appear to have given something up in the agreement, which makes Pennsylvania the 27th state, plus Washington, D.C., to expand Medicaid.

Read More →

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke out for the first time Thursday on the police shooting of Michael Brown and the ensuing protests in Ferguson, Mo.

"Watching the recent funeral for Michael Brown, as a mother, as a human being, my heart just broke for his family," she said at a conference hosted by Nextenta, a software company, in San Francisco. "Because losing a child is every parent's greatest fear and an unimaginable loss. But I also grieve for that community and for many like it across our country."

Read More →

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has set a Sept. 9 hearing to examine the federal programs that help U.S. law enforcement obtain military-grade gear, her office announced Thursday.

McCaskill will head a hearing of the full Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to look at programs like the 1033 program, which offers free refurbished military equipment to state and local authorities.

Read More →

The implosion of the GOP's all-or-nothing assault on Obamacare might have started on Election Night 2010. Republicans thought they had been validated in their relentless attacks on the law, swept to huge victories in the House. Four years ago, it seemed unthinkable that they would ever waver.

As recently as last fall, conservatives felt as confident as they'd ever been when the federal health insurance exchange HealthCare.gov failed miserably in its first days. It reinvigorated their faith in fighting the law after the U.S. Supreme Court and 2012 presidential election dealt that thinking a serious blow.

But since the heady days of cancelled policies and a balky website, the political viability of absolutist repeal has been on a downward spiral. It was probably a decline made inevitable when President Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney in 2012, which ensured that repeal would at least be vetoed for another four years. But that decline has been slow enough that it can be difficult to detect.

Even though Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who fancies himself to be a thought leader in the party, still tweets #FullRepeal with regularity, he's become an increasingly lonely voice. The use of Obamacare as an effective Republican attack looks almost at its end. It's been a long time coming.

"It really is extraordinary in a lot of ways. Republicans were absolutely convinced that the antipathy toward the ACA would be the ticket to victory," Norm Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told TPM. "Now they still may have a ticket to victory, but it's not going to be that."

Ornstein called the GOP's singular focus on attacking Obamacare -- and inability to foresee that it would eventually collapse on them -- "a textbook case of mass psychology."

"They basically worked themselves up into a frenzy over the notion that this was a government takeover of health care and socialism," he said. "I think they convinced themselves that this was so awful, that they denied any objective reality."

Read More →

UPDATE: 8:45 p.m. ET

Bresnahan tweeted an apology for his comments later Wednesday night.

A senior congressional reporter for Politico tweeted on Wednesday evening that he did not believe Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's claims that she had been subjected to sexist remarks and actions from her congressional colleagues.

John Bresnahan is a longstanding and respected congressional reporter for Politico. But he responded skeptically after Gillibrand recalled several sexist encounters in a yet-to-be-released interview with People magazine about her forthcoming book. The New York Post reported on portions of the People interview Wednesday.

Bresnahan weighed in when Huffington Post associate politics editor (and former TPMer) Igor Bobic tweeted out a headline about Gillibrand's reported tales of being told not to get "porky" and also told not "to lose too much weight... I like my girls chubby" by congressional colleagues.

Read More →

TPMLivewire