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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Republicans are mulling a change to their health care legislation that stands to transform the types of plans offered on the insurance market, blow up the cost to the government of the GOP legislation and could put comprehensive coverage out of reach for the consumers who need it most.

In a last-dash of deal-making before the bill comes to the floor for a vote, conservatives are pushing for a provision that would dismantle the so-called 10 Essential Health Benefits of the Affordable Care Act. Such a provision could be added within hours of when the bill is voted on, and before the Congressional Budget Office or other outside experts have a chance to analyze its effect.

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The way Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch would have you think it, being a judge is a science: you consider the facts, you consider the precedent, and you consider, as closely you can, how the law in question was written.

But avoiding questions about how you approach being a judge -- now that, for those who watched Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing, is an art.

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) tried very hard to get Neil Gorsuch to tip his hand on abortion. It didn’t work.

The two engaged in a lengthy back and forth Wednesday about what Gorsuch would and wouldn’t say about key Supreme Court decisions concerning personal privacy. Blumenthal attempted to lead Gorsuch down a path that would illuminate how the judge would rule on abortion, but Gorsuch resisted mightily -- reiterating his respect for the decisions as precedent but withholding deeper engagement with them.

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A unanimous decision handed down by the Supreme Court Wednesday quickly became the focus of Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings, as the new decision -- Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District --- undercut reasoning in an opinion written by Gorsuch in an appeals court decision in 2008.

The cases concerned the rights of disabled children under the 2004 law, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In 2008, Gorsuch and two other judges on a 10th Circuit appeals court panel ruled that under the IDEA, an education agency need only provide the educational benefits for the child in question that are “merely ... more than de minimis” – a finding Gorsuch defended Wednesday by pointing to a 1996 precedent in the 10th Circuit.

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Gorsuch defended his dissent in what has become known as the "frozen trucker" case, an opinion that Gorush critics have pointed to as proof that the judge has a tendency to prioritize the interests of CEOs over the working class, but also one that has brought Gorsuch praise from those who support his approach the law.

Gorsuch said at his confirmation hearing Tuesday that his opinion may have been an "unkind" one, but that it got at "what my job is, and what it isn't."

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Asked about Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that guaranteed abortion rights nationwide, Judge Neil Gorsuch stopped short Tuesday of fully endorsing the decision, but suggested he would "consider it as precedent" and viewed it as "worthy as treatment of precedent like any other. "

"It has been reaffirmed, the reliance interest considerations are important there, and all of the other factors that go into analyzing precedent have to be considered. It is a precedent of the United States Supreme Court," Gorsuch said at the second day of his confirmation hearings. "It was reaffirmed in Casey in 1992, and in several other cases. So a good judge will consider it as precedent of the United States Supreme Court worthy as treatment of precedent like any other. "

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In the face of bad reviews from health care policy experts, the insurance industry and providers, and a revolt from some members of their own caucus, Republican leaders are scrambling to sell their Obamacare replacement bill by employing a boat loads of half-truths, inaccuracies, contradictions and metaphors.

The legislation, the American Health Care Act, would pay for a major tax break for the wealthy with massive cuts to Medicaid, while shifting around the tax credits provided by Obamacare to the benefit of young people and middle-income earners, with the old and low-income earners bearing the burden.

Here are the seven biggest cons Republicans are peddling in their pitch to sell Obamacare repeal.

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The conservative holdouts resisting the Republican legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare said Monday that bill has not been changed enough to earn their votes, even as House leadership has reportedly signaled that negotiations over major alterations to the legislation are over.

The line the conservatives drew in the sand comes as a final amendments package, known as a manager's amendment, is being rolled Monday night by House leaders and the White House designed to win over the moderates and other Republicans by offering small tweaks and giveaways in the legislation.

“I'm confident that we have still enough concerns that a vote of 216 votes in the House would not happen today,” Freedom Caucus Chair Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) told reporters, based on what he's heard about what were among the latest round of changes. “We’ve been led to believe that there are no more amendments that will be allowed that substantially change things and so if that’s the case, it makes it very difficult if not impossible to get to 216."

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