Obamacare top news story of 2013 - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Obamacare top news story of 2013

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According to a report conducted by the Associated Press, President Barack Obama's health care rollout was the top news story of 2013.

The Obamacare saga received 45 first-place votes out of the 144 ballots cast for the top 10 stories of 2013 by news directors and editors across the country.

The Boston marathon bombing received 29 first-place votes while the papal transition received 21, according to the poll.

The deadline to sign up for the health insurance was on Dec. 24. Reports showed 2 million visitors hit the website on Tuesday to get covered before the deadline.

Uninsured people are at risk to pay fines by the beginning of the year. Consumers can appeal that guideline if they were not able to get insured due to technical glitches, reports said.

With the Affordable Care Act deadline looming, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., reminded West Virginians to sign up last week.

"I've always said that 2014 should be a transition year for the health care law, and we must give the American people a chance to shop around for the best and most affordable insurance plans," Manchin said in a statement on Dec. 20. "(The announcement) to delay the mandate penalty for those whose plans were canceled under the individual market is a step in the right direction, but why not delay all mandate penalties like the bipartisan legislation Senator Kirk and I introduced."

"This piecemeal approach, including delaying fines for larger employers and small businesses but not all parts of the mandate, doesn't make any sense. We should provide certainty and confidence and allow all Americans – who are some of the best shoppers in the world – to have the time they need to browse and explore the options best suited for their families, waiving all penalties and fees across the board. Let's work to fix the serious problems with the rollout of Healthcare.gov and the law's implementation so that all West Virginians and Americans can access affordable health care."