Washington

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After having delivered prime-time telecasts from the Olympic Games since 1988, NBC’s Bob Costas had to step aside due to a pink eye infection. For millions of US workers, missing work due to illness can mean losing pay or even being fired — which makes it hard for them to stay home and spare their co-workers from disease exposure. Several states are considering legislation to assure workers can earn paid sick leave.

As we’re waiting to learn whether the Affordable Care Act will survive the upcoming Supreme Court decision, it’s a good time to remember what’s at stake with the individual mandate. It’s helpful to consider the stories of two states that took different mandate paths in their attempts to make insurance affordable, with very different outcomes.