Kay Lazar, the Boston Globe’s health reporter, couldn’t find any anecdotes, but she knew a good story when she saw one, and she ran with it. Lazar interviewed Haviland—who, by the way is one researcher who speaks in plain English—and tailored her piece to Massachusetts, where only two percent of people with health insurance took a high deductible plan. Still, that number has nearly doubled —from about 50,000 people in 2009 to about 93,000 last year. Lazar said her story connected with the public; lots of people called to talk about their experiences with high-deductible plans. The issue was covered well in the state. The AP rewrote the Globe story; the Worcester Business Journal and WBUR also noted the study. WBUR, however, took the story one step further, as I’ll explain tomorrow—it showed how high deductible coverage affects real people.

Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.