Of course the Post does not have a clue as to how Republican politicians actually "regard" the health insurance exchanges established under President Obama's health care plan. All the Post can know is what these politicians say. It has no idea what, if anything, they actually believe about this system. This should cause readers to question why it asserted:
"Republicans, however, regard it [the insurance exchange system] as a likely first step down the road to a government-controlled insurance system."
The people in question are politicians, not political philosophers. They do not get their jobs for their refined views on social and economic issues. They get their jobs for appealing to important interest groups. The Post should understand this fact.