USA Today / Gannett, November 11, 2013
When Joe Atkins hunkered down to draft legislation outlining how Minnesota would implement the Affordable Care Act, he had no idea the results would be so dramatic. The Gopher State is now enrolling individuals through its health-insurance exchange by the thousands and at premium rates that are among the lowest in the country. Next door in Wisconsin, the numbers of Obamacare enrollees have barely hit the hundreds and rates are between 25 and 35 percent higher than in Minnesota. "I wish that wasn't the case, but I'm sure glad," says Atkins, a Democratic Farm Labor Party state lawmaker. "Folks are thinking I'm pretty smart right now."