The Health and Human Services Department suddenly stopped referring to insurance “exchanges” this week, even as it heralded ongoing efforts to prod states into setting up their own. Instead, press materials and a website for the public referred to insurance “marketplaces” in each state.

The change comes amid a determined push by conservative activists to block state-based exchanges in hopes of crippling the federal implementation effort.

Dean Clancy, the director of healthcare policy at FreedomWorks, said HHS’s decision to ditch the “exchanges” label shows that opponents of the healthcare law are succeeding.

“I think the patient-centered care movement can chalk up a minor victory here,” he said. “If they’re trying to re-label, it means they’re flailing.”