The Washington Post, August 12, 2011

Wisconsin's closely tracked recall election may have wrapped up, but don't stop paying attention to the Badger State. Wisconsin is shaping up as a crucial test of how much Republican cooperation the Obama administration will get in implementing the Affordable Care Act. The issue here is a battle over health exchanges, the new insurance marketplaces that the Affordable Care Act requires every state to have in 2014 (think of it as a Travelocity for health insurance). If states don't have the exchange's framework in place by 2013, Health and Human Services will come in and do the job. Looking to fend off that federal intrusion, many Republican governors have accepted at least some money to plan for an exchange. A handful have even signed laws to move the implementation process forward. But lately, some key states with Republican governors have been backtracking. And that brings us back to Wisconsin. As of this week, it's the only Republican-run state in the program.

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