Kaiser’s October 2013 Health Tracking Poll – conducted in the days immediately following the end of the partial government shutdown — found that the public paid much more attention to the brinksmanship politics that led to a partial shutdown of the United States government than to the technical problems that plagued the launch of the online federal health insurance marketplaces, the cornerstone provision of the Affordable Care Act.
A strange twist of fate left placed the beginning of enrollment for the Affordable Care Act and the first day of the new fiscal year on the same day: October 1. That coincidence gave Republicans an opportunity, or what they thought was an opportunity, to defund the health care reform law. The refusal of both parties to agree on a continuing resolution to fund the federal government in the new fiscal year — with the funding of Obamacare as the main hitch in negotiations — left the U.S. without a continuing resolution and significant parts of the government were shut down on October 1, putting the United States in jeopardy of defaulting on its federal debt for the first time in history.
The fiscal standoff in Washington is over. The United States will not default on its public debt and the federal government will have the funds to continuing operating thanks to a piece of legislation passed in mid-October. Of course, the bill is more like a temporary bandage than actually solution, and the postponement of the unresolved budget dispute is giving congressional lawmakers the time to turn the debate to what actually precipitated the political crisis — the Affordable Care Act.