Limbaugh: Cruz, Lee tried to warn you on Obamacare. Only 357 Utahns have got plans through the health care law. House investigators, Swallow reach deal on records.
Happy Thursday. Conservative host Rush Limbaugh said yesterday that Americans should have paid attention to the fight against Obamacare led by Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee and we could have avoided the headlines now about problems with the rollout of the new health care law: "Ted Cruz and Mike Lee and everybody involved in their effort was trying to prevent what is happening now from happening. All they wanted to do was defund it or delay it so that this wouldn't happen, so that you wouldn't begin losing your policy. That's all they wanted to do," Limbaugh said. [Limbaugh]
Topping the news: Only 357 Utahs have selected plans through the Affordable Care Act's online exchange, over 14,000 have finished their applications but have yet to select a plan. Nationally about 106,000 people have selected plans and roughly 975,000 who are waiting to select a plan. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV] [ABC4] Nationally: [WaPost] [Politico] [CNN] [NYTimes] [BuzzFeed]
-> House investigators and Attorney General John Swallow's office have reached a deal that would give the House access to copies of hard drives and servers without releasing the private health information that might be stored on the devices. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV]
-> Conservative lawmakers in Congress are focusing more on their own bases in their districts and not about the GOP's overall image, an attitude that is frustrating Republican strategists trying to help the party nationally and ready it for 2016. [HuffPost]
Tweet of the day: From @jpodhoretz: "I have more twitter followers than Obamacare has entrants--and I'm not even verified."
Congrats: To former Hatch campaign spokeswoman Evelyn Call and the Utah Taxpayers Association's Chase Everton on getting engaged. The big day is set for May 9.
In other news: A small fundraising luncheon featuring former Rep. Allen West was held to support Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love's bid for a rematch against Rep. Jim Matheson. Love said they have a lot of name recognition now which is good, but Matheson said she can't ride the coattails of Mitt Romney this campaign. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV] [Fox13]
-> The average home in Utah took an 8 percent hit during the Great Recession, losing about $18,000 in value, according to new Census estimates. [Trib]
-> Hill Air Force base has published the names of three people who were convicted in sexual assaults. The listing is part of a military-wide effort to combat the problem. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley gives his take on Obamacare and the individual insurance coverage. [Trib]
-> The Family Investment Coalition is asking Gov. Gary Herbert to provide two 2015 budgets including one that includes a Medicaid expansion. [Trib]
-> Sen. Mike Lee said the best way America can combat poverty is to promote and celebrate traditional marriage and families. Lee said this was not a political opinion, but a demonstrable fact and does not demean or degrade other family structures. [DailyCaller]
-> The director of the Utah Pride Center has resigned. [DNews]
-> The Monte Cristo and Big Mountain highways will be closed for winter on Monday, UDOT officials say they're shutting them down because of safety concerns and the prohibitive cost of keeping them open. [Trib]
-> Mormons may be seeing their own LGBT moment: a possible shift in their approach to dealing with gay rights issues as evident by the 5-2 vote for the anti-discrimination act by the Senate's seven Mormons. [WaPost]
Nationally: House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the House will not hash out the differences with the Senate on its immigration plans. Boehner's move means no immigration reform this year. [WaPost] [Politico] [CNN] [NYTimes]
-> Vice President Joe Biden said his chief of staff, Bruce Reed, will step down and be replaced by senior adviser Steve Ricchetti who was a top official in the Clinton administration. [WaPost]
-> Polls show Republicans are now even with Democrats after overcoming a 9-point deficit in six weeks in a generic congressional ballot question. The big swing came from independent voters, who in October favored Democrats by two points, but now lean with Republicans by 11 points. [WaTimes]
Where are they?
-- Thomas Burr and Jordan Bailey
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