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Mountain News: Jackson Hole welcomes Obamacare



JACKSON, Wyo. — It was standing room only at the Teton County Library in Jackson when a state insurance official explained nuances of the Affordable Care Act, what is commonly called Obamacare.

Jackson Hole, as Teton County is more commonly called, is among the wealthiest places in the United States. Still, many residents will qualify for the subsidized health insurance.

The Jackson Hole Daily says applicants qualify if they earn between 100 and 400 per cent of federal poverty income levels. That's up to $46,000 for an individual and $94,200 for a family of four.

"It's high time we had some sort of government program. It's long overdue," said Liz Goldsmith, a former emergency medical technician.

"Health care costs have skyrocketed," she said, "and we're the only advanced country in the world that doesn't have some sort of program for health care."

Government shutdown crimps yuletide cheer

VAIL, Colo. — What does the shutdown of the U.S. government have to do with drinking beer? Plenty, it turns out. An agency of the U.S. Treasury regulates new labels and recipes at breweries such as Crazy Mountain Brewery, one of several in the Vail area.

Brewery representatives tell the Vail Daily that they have a December beer called Bridge St. Holiday Ale ready to brew, but the labels can't be processed by the agency because agency staff members have been furloughed until Republicans in Congress allow the debt ceiling to rise.

Beer at the Gore Range Brewery flows only to customer tables and not in packages to be taken outside. As such, the brewery has no concern about federal agencies. "The more beer and the less government you have in your life, the better your life will be," said a company representative.

Banff sewage creates income source

BANFF, Alberta — You can't entirely call it "waste" when it's yielding revenue of $15,000 a year. That's the assessment in Banff, where sewage is being used as the core ingredient for a fertilizer and soil amendment. Food waste and lime from a nearby cement factory are also part of the mix, which the Rocky Mountain Outlook says is mostly free of pathogens while retaining other useful microorganisms.