Dem governors tell HHS they're committed to implementing health law

"As President Obama said after the Supreme Court ruling, it is time to move forward," Sebelius wrote in a blog post highlighting the 12 governors' letters. "Since the health care reform law was passed two years ago, we have worked closely with states to begin building these Exchanges ... and we will continue to work side-by-side with the states to provide the health care quality and security that our citizens need and deserve."

HHS has asked each state to tell the department by Nov. 16 whether it intends to set up its own exchange — a new marketplace where individuals and small businesses can buy insurance. The federal government will operate a fallback exchange in each state that doesn't set up its own, but HHS wants each state to build its own marketplace.

The responses HHS released Wednesday represent the administration's most reliable allies. The letters came from 11 of the 12 Democratic governors whose states have already created exchanges. The only missing Democrat was West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) also told Sebelius his state will implement an exchange. He has signed an executive order beginning the planning process, but the state has not formally created an exchange yet, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.