Late yesterday the Obama administration extended today's original deadline for the states to agree to establish their own health insurance exchanges to Dec. 14, effectively giving a group of reluctant and/or wavering governors time to make a decision.

Under the terms of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the states have three options to establish exchanges where consumers can shop for health insurance. The first option is to do it on their own, the second is to do it in tandem with the federal government, and the third is to let the feds do it for them. The latter kicks in automatically if a state rejects the first two options.