Kevin Drum, unsurprisingly, has it:
This whole dispute is about the Republican Party fighting to make sure the working poor don’t have access to affordable health care.
He has nine other sentences about the shutdown, but if you’ve been reading me this one is the most salient to my worldview. Surely it’s become somewhat of a broken record now to say or write this particular explanation, and it’s definitely become a talking point for some. Yet one thing I want to make clear is that, again, for my own part this is a statement that is more concerned with concrete effects — not motivations. They have no serious alternative, so I consider it entirely within the realm of fairness to structure the counter-factual between a world with and without the Affordable Care Act in 2014 and beyond; with the law millions of people with below-median annual income will have access to comprehensive insurance, without the law they will not. Thus, Republicans and movement conservatives are struggling to prevent low-income Americans from having access to insurance, period.