Health care top story of 2013

ESCANABA – A recent poll conducted by The Associated Press has deemed the glitch-plagued rollout of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul the top news story of 2013, and though concerned about its implications, many locals agree.

“There’s probably a lot of people that aren’t going to have insurance or they’re going to have to pay more for insurance,” said Hano Johnson while at the Escanaba Senior Center Monday afternoon.

Chris Horst of Escanaba agrees the shaky launch of the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, is one of the top stories of the year and one topic that will remain strong in 2014.

“Hopefully they get Obamacare straightened out and figure out a way for people like myself who can’t afford Obamacare insurance,” she said while at the Escanaba Public Library Monday.

A man who spoke on condition of anonymity while at the Escanaba Senior Center also cited the rocky rollout of the Affordable Care Act as the top story of the year, while worried about its implementation in 2014.

“Obamacare – when that hits the fan – he’s going to have to declare martial law, but that’s looking down the road quite a ways I think,” he said, adding that most Americans are ignorant of all the details of the Affordable Care Act.

According to The AP poll, which surveys U.S. editors and news directors, the saga of Obamacare received 45 first-place votes out of 144 ballots cast for the top 10 stories of the year.

With locals, other top stories of 2013 were varied.

“There’s been a lot of killing over in Russia, which is terrible,” said Richard Hentz, while at the Escanaba Senior Center, alluding to a second bombing in Russia Monday as the country prepares for the Sochi Olympics in February.

Johnson also noted the fallout from the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attack in Libya was another story that continued to make headlines in 2013.

The Boston Marathon bombing and the papal transition at the Vatican were the second and third top stories of the year in The AP poll, receiving 29 and 21 first-place votes respectively.

Other top contenders were the bitter partisan conflict in Congress, the leaks about National Security Agency surveillance by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden, and gay-rights movement victories occurring in the U.S. over the course of the year.

The death of Nelson Mandela, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the Syrian conflict, and discovery of three missing women who were abducted by former Cleveland bus driver Ariel Castro rounded out the top 10.