The latest government shutdown is a hard nut to crack from a political strategy perspective. Implementation of the healthcare law was never at risk of being delayed. After the debate turned away from implementation of the Affordable Care Act it turned to the debt ceiling which was predictably raised after much hot air from both Republicans and Democrats.
When all is said and done what did House Republicans achieve? Every poll indicates that the public places most of the blame on Republicans for the shutdown. The AP-GfK poll is but one of many showing that the majority of angst toward the government is focused on Republicans. A more recent ABC/Washington Post poll indicates that only 24% of those asked favored how Republicans handled the shutdown.
There could be a few strategies involved from the Republican side of this topic. The first is an honest belief that the healthcare law is horrible for America. Still, there are better ways to project that message than threatening government default. For more on that click here.
There might be an honest uprising from within the GOP led by Tea Party sympathizers such as Ted Cruz (R-TX).
There might also be a long term plan by Republicans at play. If the healthcare law continues to experience hiccups "which should be expected from such a large government endeavor" Republicans might be able to capitalize on public frustration for Congressional elections. Republicans could then say "we told you so" and run as the fiscally sane alternative to whatever caricatures their campaign marketing people come up with.
This seems to be a gamble because state healthcare exchanges are reporting an uptick in successful application forms. To read more about success with state healthcare exchanges click here. However, if the federal level continues to run into problem after problem with implementation Republicans might have the last laugh.