For 14 months, a bipartisan group of 17 states quietly has been collaborating with the Obama administration to help build a foundation for the healthcare-reform law's success. They are backed by $3 million in funding from eight nonprofit organizations. Together, they have come up with a tool to help consumers navigate the health-insurance exchanges. The tool was released Friday for other states to use if they wish. The project’s nonprofit backers hope it will give all states one of the resources they will need to hit the healthcare law’s tight deadlines and provide assistance to states that have run into financial and political obstacles to moving forward.