1. How 2014 s first big storm is affecting 100 million Americans
2. 4 reasons why pot will have an even bigger year in 2014
3. 2013: The year we realized Obamacare is here to stay
By Amber Phillips/Digital First Media
Rocelys Corrales sits with an insurance agent in Miami on Dec. 22 to inquire about purchasing health insurance via Obamacare. The more people who sign up, the harder it is to repeal the law. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Love it or hate it, Obamacare became a part of our lives for good this year.
The president's signature 2010 health care reform law has survived the highest level of challenges, from more than 40 votes to repeal it in Congress, to a Supreme Court challenge, to a presidential election and a government shutdown, all while sporting fairly low approval ratings.
The law faced even more challenges of its own making as it moved from theory to reality this fall. But despite the troubled rollout of HealthCare.gov, Obamacare has started to turn around, with more than 2 million Americans expected to have health insurance by Jan. 1.
Here's a look back at how Obamacare made its mark on America in 2013.
President Obama won a second term despite Republicans campaigning to repeal Obamacare. He hinted at the year's battles to come in his January inauguration speech.
"We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit," Obama said.
But Republicans weren't ready to give up. In March, a wave of conservatives pushed Congress to defund the law.å
May found the House taking its 37th vote to repeal or defund the law. The votes were largely symbolic because any bill was dead on arrival in the Democratically controlled Senate, and Republican leaders made it clear in 2012 they didn't really believe they could repeal Obamacare.
Still, the votes allowed conservative first-year Republicans to voice their opposition to the still-unpopular Obamacare.show more
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MONTPELIER (AP) - The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation has opened the lottery for "cut-your-own" firewood lots on state forest lands.
The two-week registration for the personal roadside lots ends on Jan. 16. Each roadside lot costs $30 and yields out three cords of wood for the 2014 home heating season.
Trees are marked and lottery winners get a tour from Forest and Parks staff members on which trees are available for cutting.
This year roadside lots are available in the towns of Duxbury, Orange, Johnson, Groton, Westmore and Sutton. Participants will need to indicate where they prefer to cut.