It isn't surprising that most Minnesotans don't know who Joe Atkins is. Until 2013, Rep. Atkins was just another pro-Obamacare Metrocrat. Last year, Rep. Atkins' notoriety within the DFL increased dramatically when he was the chief author of HF5, the House bill that created MNsure.
In a committee hearing on HF5, Rep. Cindy Pugh posed a question to Rep. Atkins. Here's the first part of their exchange:
REP. PUGH: So a follow-up question to that would be if the average Minnesota customer based on their circumstances believes that they aren't being advanced to the degree that they expected to, to whom might they be able to address their grievances?
REP. ATKINS: Me.
Rep. Atkins' flippant remark is disgustingly dishonest considering the fact that he and his co-chair of the MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee, Sen. Tony Lourey, didn't conduct oversight hearings on MNsure from Sept. 24, 2013 until Jan., 2014.
Rep. Atkins didn't hold oversight hearings while April Todd-Malmlov was taking a 2 week vacation in Costa Rica and while major security lapses were being reported to the MNsure board. Why should Minnesotans think Rep. Atkins will be available to listen to their complaints about MNsure's Paul Bunyan ads and MNsure's Mickey Mouse service?
Remember that Rep. Atkins refused to lift a finger in calling a hearing while MNsure was going through the biggest difficulties of its existence. That doesn't sound like a man who's there for Minnesotans' beck and call. That sounds like a man who didn't hesitate in making a flippant statement to a legitimate question from a serious legislator.
Democrats nationwide are talking about fixing Obamacare. DFL legislators here in Minnesota aren't even doing that. Even if DFL legislators here in Minnesota started talking about fixing MNsure, why should they believe the DFL?
The DFL's actions show that they aren't serious about MNsure. That's especially true of Rep. Atkins, who couldn't even be bothered to call a hearing while MNsure was melting down.