On October 1, 2013, Congress did not pass legislation to fund federal agencies in a Republican and Democrat showdown over the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Thus, the federal government has “shutdown.” Unfortunately, the shutdown coincides with the beginning of enrollment in health care exchanges.
Despite the shutdown, implementation of the ACA will continue. The majority of staff at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are out on furlough, but contractors are operating as usual. It is likely the shutdown will exacerbate the delays enrollees are facing trying to enroll in coverage through the health care exchange.