'I don't think it's panic'
Alan Weil, executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy, says the deadline extension is not a signal that the process is in disarray, but more of an acknowledgement that states were waiting to see which party won the White House.
Republican challenger Mitt Romney had pledged to abolish "Obamacare" if he won the presidency, making moot any preparations for exchanges.
"I think everyone is realizing that 10 days after the election is a little too short for states that are trying to figure out what to do," Weil says. "For those states that already pretty much knew where they were going it didn't much matter. But there were a lot of state sitting on the fence that are now ready to get off but 10 days is too quick. HHS is just looking to ensure that the states who want to give this a closer look have that opportunity."
"I don't think it's panic," Weil says. "The administration wants all of the states that are ready and willing to take a role in implementation to do so. This is one more opportunity to let those who might be able to do that play that role."