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NY1 News looks back on 2013 with our annual Year In Review series of reports.

2013 Health Year In Review: Affordable Care Act Rollout, Proposed Hospital Closures Mark Year In Health

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TWC News: 2013 Health Year In Review: Affordable Care Act Rollout, Proposed Hospital Closures Mark Year In Health
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The rollout of the Affordable Care Act dominated the national health news cycle, while fights over proposed hospital closures took place at a local level. NY1's Erin Billups filed the following report.

You can't look back on health in 2013 without first talking about the October rollout of the final piece of the Obamacare puzzle.

"We fumbled the rollout on this health care law," President Barack Obama said on November 14.

The federal run health insurance exchanges were plagued with glitches. It's just now starting to turn around.

In New York, the story was much different.

"Our program has actually been working well," Governor Andrew Cuomo said on November 19. "The website has been working well."

Some issues have surfaced. More than 100,000 New Yorkers saw their 2013 plans canceled. There have been some coding problems, and a number of providers are taking a wait-and-see approach to many of the plans offered, limiting coverage options.

There's also been a lot of changes with hospitals in New York. Brooklyn has seen its fair share of upheaval with the proposed closures of Long Island College Hospital and Interfaith Medical Center.

Continuum hospitals - St. Luke's, Roosevelt, Beth Israel - merged with Mount Sinai, and New York Downtown folded into NewYork-Presbyterian, becoming New York-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital.

Still, with the Affordable Care Act in play, much of the focus is shifting away from hospital-based care to community centers.

There's also an effort to tackle the prevalence of chronic illnesses like heart disease proactively. In March, an American Heart Association report revealed that 75 percent of adults worldwide consume double the daily recommended amount of sodium.

In April, the city Health Department announced that there's been a sharp uptick in the number of adults being diagnosed with diabetes in the past 20 years.

"Sugary drinks are the largest single contributor to the obesity epidemic," said city Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.

The findings came as the city was entrenched in a legal battle to enact its so-called soda ban. Ultimately, the portion cap rule was struck down by the courts.

Less controversial was the measure increasing the tobacco selling age to 21, and most recently, the Board of Health decided that all kids looking to attend day care and preschool in the city must get flu shots.

As for good news in 2013, teen pregnancy in the city is on the decline.

"In 2001, it was a little more than 50 percent," Farley said. "Now, we're at 38 percent of teenagers who are sexually active at all."

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