Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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Fourteen Democratic state attorneys general urged Donald Trump in a letter sent Wednesday to have his administration continue defending President Obama's Clean Power Plan, a monumental effort to address climate change that is the target of a lawsuit brought by more that two dozen, largely conservative states.

The letter also rebutted the legal arguments that some of the attorneys general suing Obama over the regulations made in their own letter sent to Trump earlier this month. The signees threatened to sue Trump if he followed those red state officials' advice to simply instruct the Environmental Protection Agency not to enforce the climate plan.

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The thousands of telecommunications jobs President-elect Donald Trump claimed Wednesday that he was bringing back to the United States were part of a previously announced investment deal between Sprint and its main funder, SoftBank.

"5,000 jobs announced today are part of the 50,000 jobs that [SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son] previously announced. It will be a combination of newly created jobs and bringing some existing jobs back to the U.S," a Sprint spokeswoman said in a statement to Politico, after Trump made his announcement to the press.

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What will the left’s legal resistance to a President Trump’s administration look like? A move Tuesday by two Obamacare enrollees seeking to intervene in an ongoing lawsuit targeting Affordable Care Act offers a preview.

The details of the lawsuit are wonky, but involve payments to insurers that if eliminated could bring immediate chaos to the individual health insurance market. The enrollees' effort to get involved in the case also heralds the beginning of an era when Trump opponents -- largely shut out from controlling other levers of power -- will have to depend on the courts to push back on an agenda that they say is already raising serious legal and Constitutional concerns.

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A representative of President-elect Donald Trump's transition team was among a group of conservative lawmakers and officials from the U.S. and Europe who boycotted a meeting with Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely this week over her decision to exclude a far-right Swedish pol from the briefing, the Times of Israel reported Wednesday. A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry told the Times that the delegation had canceled its briefing with Hotovely (pictured above) because she would not allow the attendance Swedish pol Kristina Winberg, whom the spokesperson described as "a member of a party with neo-Nazi tendencies."

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A new report published by the Commonwealth Fund this week highlighted a variety of aspects of the insurance coverage gains made after Obamacare was passed, including a sizable decrease in the number of people who say they skipped going to the doctor because of cost concerns. In 2013, before the law had gone fully into effect, 20 percent of adults said they had forgone seeking medical treatment because of the cost. Two years later, after the ACA had been mostly implemented, that number had shrunk to 13 percent nationally. "The historic decline in uninsured rates has been accompanied by widespread reductions in cost-related access problems and improvements in access to routine care for at-risk adults," the study said.

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The Congressional Budget Office laid out some important ground rules in a blog post Tuesday for how it will judge whatever Obamacare replacement plans lawmakers eventually offer if they repeal the Affordable Care Act next year. The CBO said it would not be giving any proposals credit for covering consumers unless the plans that consumers would be receiving met certain broad standards for coverage.

The post comes as GOP lawmakers are readying their push to repeal Obamacare early next year, but with a two- to four-year delay that they say would give them enough time to settle on a replacement. Over the six-plus years since the ACA was passed, Republicans have struggled to develop consensus around an alternative, in part because of deep disagreements within the party over the government's role in the health care industry and whether universal coverage should be a goal.

The CBO blog post adds a new wrinkle to the debate, by making clear that lawmakers won't be able to claim that they will protect the millions of people that stand to lose insurance with an Obamacare repeal if the coverage that comes with their ACA replacement is significantly less generous or wide-ranging.

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A report released Tuesday by the left-leaning think tank Center on Budget and Policy Priorities breaks down how Republicans, if they follow the 2015 model of repealing the Affordable Care Act, would spend two-thirds of the money saved by repealing Obamacare's benefits to pay for tax cuts, directed mostly at high-earners.

According to the report, the failed 2015 legislation that congressional leaders have since signaled will be their rubric going forward would produce about $1 trillion in savings over the next decade by dismantling the Medicaid expansion and subsidies for the individual exchanges while also repealing the mandates. However, repealing the taxes that raised revenue for Obamacare -- including the taxes for high earners as well as those on the health care industry -- would cost the government $670 billion in the next decade, leaving about $317 billion left over in savings that lawmakers could use on a hypothetical replacement.

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Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to direct the Office of Management and Budget, has been an ardent supporter of budget proposals that would privatize Medicare and has made overhauling the program a key issue in his approach to governance.

“We have to end Medicare as we know it,” Mulvaney said in 2011.

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What a difference eight years will make.

The frontline of Democrats defending Obamacare from a GOP repeal in the new year looks a whole lot different than the lineup of lawmakers who fought for its passage in 2009-10.

Gone are the likes of Ted Kennedy, Tom Harkin, Harry Reid, and Henry Waxman.

With those stalwarts either deceased or retired, a new lineup has emerged that will be tasked with defending the law that their predecessors spent nearly their entire careers waiting to see enacted. But unlike their counterparts eight years ago, these Democrats will be playing defense and in the minority, with fewer legislative and political tools at their disposal.

“It’s mostly the bench who are now out front,” said John McDonough, a Harvard public health professor who wrote the 2011 book "Inside National Health Reform."

“It’s a very experienced and well-rounded bench in terms of understanding and familiarity with these issues in a very, very deep way, but it is a whole new generation that will be rising up and taking leadership roles in this,” he said.

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