It was the gift that kept on giving: The disastrous roll-out of the health-insurance exchanges provided daily fodder for Republican opponents of Obamacare. And the dire state of U.S. health care, coupled with a headlong rush by people to get health insurance, gave Democrats ample opportunity to say "we told you so."
So once it's January 2014 and people can start having their new insurance and all the deadlines have passed, can we relax and talk about something other than health reform?
Not a chance, say experts. They predict 2014 will be, if anything, worse than 2013.
"It will be an election year, and the GOP has pledged to make the Affordable Care Act one of its top issues. So yes, I think we can expect even more politics," says Sabrina Corlette, senior research fellow at Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute.
(Read more: Obama administration extends healthcare enrollment)
"Scary thought, I know."
The health-insurance exchanges were supposed to be the crowning glory of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, now known widely as Obamacare. The new law was designed to get health insurance to the 45 million Americans who don't have any.
It's also meant to lower costs and improve quality of care over time by helping people get treated earlier, before they develop expensive conditions, and by encouraging doctors, hospitals and other providers to work more closely in collaboratives called Accountable Care Organizations.