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Chad’s Morning Brief: 6 Million People Have Signed Up for Obamacare, Lubbock City Council Meeting News, and Other Top Stories

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of March 28, 2014. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.

REMINDER! Live Broadcast on Saturday March 29th from 2-4pm at the Know A Guy Cigar Lounge in Lubbock. Come out and join me while having a cigar and relaxing in the lounge. I will have tickets to the Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway to giveaway. The Know A Guy Cigar Lounge is located at 1612 17th Street.

Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Obamacare Hits 6 Million

The White House announced yesterday that 6 million people have signed up for Obamacare according to Politico. Reports from the conference call claimed that the White House had hit it’s goal of sign-ups. While many organizations ran with that line, Politico correctly pointed out in their story that the administration had an original goal of 7 million sign-ups.

The number of Americans signed up for health insurance through exchanges surpassed 6 million on Thursday, four days before the March 31 deadline, the White House said.

President Barack Obama announced the milestone during a conference call with volunteers and navigators helping Americans sign up for coverage under his landmark law. The total is lower than the 7 million goal set before the exchanges opened, but it does beat revised expectations. And the pace of enrollment is a striking turnaround after the disastrous start last fall.

During the call, Obama thanked several thousand supporters on the line “for all their hard work to date and discussed the importance of building on this progress over the last four days of open enrollment.”

Interest in signing up for insurance is surging ahead of Monday’s deadline, Obama said, noting that there were more than 1.5 million visits to HealthCare.gov on Wednesday, as well as more than 430,000 calls to call centers. States running their own exchanges are also reporting that enrollment is rising fast, with some surpassing their targets.

The president “encouraged the navigators and volunteers to redouble their efforts over the next four days and leave no stone unturned in trying to bring affordable health coverage to as many Americans as possible,” the White House said in a readout of the call.

The head of the agency overseeing the new marketplaces, Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner, said consumers are calling and coming to the website in near record numbers. “We are working hard to ensure that our systems can handle the unprecedented demand as people enroll before the March 31 deadline.”

Advocates on the call spread the word in jubilant tweets. “SIX MILLION, BABY!,” said one.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius added her own tweet: “Please RT to share the great news—6 million Americans have signed up for health insurance since Oct 1! #GetCoveredNow”

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated last year that about 7 million people would likely enroll in Obamacare insurance exchanges in 2014, before the disastrous HealthCare.gov launch. White House officials embraced that goal, although they later tried to distance themselves. The CBO recently revised its estimate to 6 million — which still seemed optimistic to many, given the weak start and the slow ramp up.

6 million sign-ups is what the administration claims yet they won’t release how many people have actually paid for their plans. That is an important piece of the puzzle that the Obama administration won’t give the media. Another important factor will be how many young people have signed up. Past reports have showed little success signing up younger Americans.

Lubbock City Council

The Lubbock City Council met on Thursday night and it was a busy night. Cole Shooter of KFYO has a great story on everything that happened at Lubbock City Hall.

During the citizen comments portion of the agenda, Jon Spears spoke to the Council and requested off-leash hours for dogs at Tech Terrace Park.

Spears said “There are a lot of good people that are getting really expensive fines just for having Labradors off their leash. Second thing, there are a lot of wasted tax dollars that the police are spending to patrol that park.”

He continued, saying “The fact that it’s such an easy solution, and that’s just simply to have off-leash hours.”

Spears asked that the City allow a few hours per day for dogs to be allowed to be off-leash at the park.

Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson weighed in, saying that the Lubbock Police presence in the area is higher lately due to neighborhood complaints being made to police.

“This was in response to neighborhoods calling in and demanding response,” said Robertson.

District Three Councilman Todd Klein, who represents the Tech Terrace neighborhood, did not agree with Spears, saying “For many years, I’ve had seniors that have called me saying that they no longer feel comfortable walking around the perimeter of the park…I think what this hopefully becomes, is a catalyst for a dog park.”

Klein continued, saying “I’ll be off the Council very soon, so I’m happy to help as a private citizen, but we need an enclosed dog park at a different location…I’m all about animals, but humans come first.”

The Council also held a public hearing regarding a zone change request to allow a Love’s Travel Stop and Country Store to begin construction off of Interstate 27 and Regis Street, near the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport.

The company is requesting for the zoning to change from R-1, which is residential, to Interstate Highway Industrial.

One citizen that lives in the area gave an emotional speech in opposition to the zone change request.

“I don’t want it! I don’t want it there. I don’t want the drugs, I don’t want the prostitution. Somebody’s daughter has run away? You know where they are? They’re up at a truck stop somewhere, and I don’t want it there,” said the citizen.

Rick Shuffield, director of real estate and development for Love’s Travel Stop, discussed the issue, saying that their main issues at other stores are truck lockouts, fender benders, and gas drive offs.

“We don’t have any more problems than any other business would have that’s locating there, and statistically, we have much less from a robbery standpoint than what you would have with a convenience store…mainly because there is activity there throughout the evening,” said Shuffield.

Some Council members told Shuffield that Love’s Travel Centers should discuss the potential location with nearby residents and businesses before the Council takes a second vote on the zoning change at their first meeting in early April.

The Council approved the first reading of the zoning change request 6-0, with District One Councilman Victor Hernandez absent.

A new addition will be made to the City of Lubbock’s Animal Shelter, located at 3323 Southeast Loop 289 following a vote from the Council.

The expansion is to allow the City more room for strays at the three-year-old building.

The Council voted 5-1 to approve the $946,000 addition, with Robertson dissenting.

The contract was given to Collier Construction Company of Lubbock. Robertson said he believed that the City should have solicited bids for the construction, instead of just delivering the contract to Collier Construction.

 

Other Top Stories:

Majority of Young Republicans Support Gay Marriage

Lubbock Councilman Concerned About Pedestrians on Ave. Q 

Court Upholds Texas Abortion Rules

New Curriculum Might be Too Hard  

Cornyn Rips Shield Law

Sick Transit 

Mayors Support Private Train From Dallas to Houston

UT Professor Wants to Study Human Rights Impact of Border Fence

Obamacare a Bad Omen for Wendy Davis? 

Lawsuit Over Yelp Review

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

 

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