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March 8-11 2014, Team 26 will ride again.

David Ramsey on the Arkansas leg funding the Medicaid private option expansion:

No one ever said this would be easy.

The House failed for a fourth time to reach the needed supermajority on the private option for Medicaid expansion today. The policy has 73 votes (71 today, but two Aye votes were simply not in their seats), two short of the needed 75.

Voting every day has been the strategy pushed by House Speaker Davy Carter, even though there have been several days this week when leadership knew the count was short. He has steadily picked up votes; falling short this morning, in and of itself, is not much of a setback for proponents — most believed that there was a vote or two that would be easier to come by next week. The troubling news for backers of the private option was Carter's announcement that Rep. Les Carnine told him he was a no.

"He said he was a no and he’s always going to be a no," Carter said. "That’s the first I’ve heard of that."

Carnine and Rep. Mary Lou Slinkard were generally considered the final two swing votes needed to get to 75. Now, even assuming proponents can get Slinkard aboard, they'll be left one vote short.

Multiple sources told me that there were other possible swing votes in play. We'll see.

Here's deal: both PO proponents & opponents say 75 votes likely there next week. House leadership trying to convince swings to vote Y today.
Ari Berman:
What’s Next for the Moral Monday Movement?

This multiracial, multi-issue progressive coalition is not only remobilizing in North Carolina—its model of activism is now spreading all over the South.

More politics and policy below the fold.

Alex Roarty:

Republicans who run campaigns gripe they lose races because of candidates and ideology. It's easy to understand why. Nominees who deny they belong to a coven or confuse—in the most offensive way conceivable—the basic biology of sex aren't ideal nominees. The more electable ones, like Mitt Romney, are forced to adopt such a rigid agenda that they irritate half the electorate before the general election even begins. So victories are hard to come by, just as they would be for a sprinter with two sprained ankles.

But those same Republicans who have shepherded countless Senate, House, and presidential candidates should add one more culprit to their list: themselves. Because there's mounting evidence that the party's political class simply isn't good at running campaigns anymore.

TPM on Scott Walker:
A massive document dump released this week about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has revealed some embarrassing tidbits about former aides to the governor. So far there hasn't been a bombshell directly linking governor to legal misconduct, but the the slow burn of the scandal -- and his reluctance to answer questions about it -- may drag down any presidential or vice-presidential ambitions Walker had in 2016.

"I think it's damaging, not because there was a lot of new information in the emails that were released, but because it put the story back on the front pages and it's really displaced the other things that the governor would prefer to talk about in an re-election year," University of Wisconsin political science professor Barry C. Burden told TPM.

TPM on Joe Manchin and ACA:
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) clarified Friday that he "never supported repealing" Obamacare after a local news outlet reported he said he would "vote tomorrow" to roll back the health care law. the Huffington Post reported.

“I will vote tomorrow to repeal (the ACA), but I want to fix the problems in it," the Beckley Register-Herald quoted Manchin telling an audience.

“We cannot go back to the days when millions of Americans were uninsured and nearly twenty percent of our GDP was spent on healthcare, while only being ranked 43rd in the world in health and wellness outcomes," Manchin said in a statement to the Huffington Post. "The Affordable Care Act does some things well, like expanding access to preventative care, providing access to those with pre-existing conditions, and closing the Medicare Part D prescription drug donut hole, but the law has many flaws.”

According to the Huffington Post, Manchin's office didn't dispute the local outlet's quote as inaccurate, although his full statement dispelled the possibility that he would actually vote to repeal the law.

Brendan Nyhan:
We’re still almost three years away from November 2016, but political journalists seem to want to fast-forward past the ongoing Washington stalemate to the next presidential election. How else can we explain the recent flurry of coverage for trial heat polls, which pit possible presidential contenders against each other in hypothetical general election matchups? There’s just one problem: These polls—which exist mainly to generate press coverage for pollsters and fill space in the media—have zero predictive power at this point in the election cycle, don’t tell us anything we can’t learn from other metrics, and distract attention from the real action at this stage of the campaign.
Aaron Carroll (with help from twitter and yours truly) on why you should get a flu shot.
And, as a Twitter follower pointed out to me [you'll recognize the name], people who don’t get vaccinated seem more likely to wind up in the Intensive Care Unit. Here’s a meta-analysis pointed out to me by Bradley Flansbaum that brings it all home.

Why are people fighting this? Vaccine yourself. Vaccinate your kids.

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