Report: Many states lag in implementing healthcare law

A new report from independent researchers could undercut the Obama administration's claims that most states are implementing the new healthcare reform law.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute said Monday that 15 states have made "little or no progress" implementing a key piece of the new law — an insurance exchange where individuals and small businesses can buy private insurance.

The White House released its own report last week saying 28 states are working toward a state-based exchange. Along with states accepting grants for programs like the review of insurance rates, the figures show that "all States have taken some action to implement health reform," the White House said.

But the Urban Institute analysis released Monday isn't as upbeat. It says there are major discrepancies in how much progress states have made, and that the most resistant states have the most to lose.

The states that haven't begun working seriously toward an exchange are among the states where the largest number of residents would be eligible for federal subsidies to help purchase insurance, the analysis says. It also notes that the federal government has the power to establish a federally run fallback in any state that does not set up its own exchange.