It’s an act of spite and an attempt to scare and punish all the people dependent on the gov’t (who the Republicans hate although they are themselves collecting salaries, have enormous prestige from being supposed servants of the people). They want to see people suffer from dislocations, from losses of money, of places to go, of the workings of daily life. The minority of Republicans who have shut down the US gov’t are also getting a kick out of trying to punish and frighten the majority of Americans who voted for having affordable health care. They are enjoying themselves, reveling in their choke-hold. And it should be mentioned everywhere that an amendment to some bill decrees all of them keeping getting paid, and Ted Cruz has signaled his desire to collect that big unmerited salary.
They are saying and enacting: for wanting this, for wanting decent health care at an affordable price, we will do all we can to destroy you. Are they untouchable? will you vote for any of those who voted for this again?
It’s a new tactic all right: a kind of coup: now they have the idea if they lose a battle because they haven’t got the votes (democratically) they can enforce their will through the oligarchical structure of the gov’t. Irony of ironies: organizations like the NSA remain open (or secretly there) and funded. Bernie Sanders called it blackmail. And that’s what it is.
People may forget that in 1995-96 when the Republicans under the leadership of Newt Gringich did this, one of the things the Republicans wanted to destroy was medicare. They wanted to slash it to ribbons. They did not succeed in wiping it out as a program, but they have since then whittled it away bit by bit wherever they could: whence the the lack of help and real care for dying people in hospices today: employees keep mentioning that “gov’t rules” say we can’t fund this or that. They also hate all gov’t workers (but themselves) so this is punishing you for working for the gov’t.
Here’s a simple explanation of the Affordable Health Care act system: