The AP wasted several graphs toward the end of its story reporting on the predicament of Jacob Bockser’s mother, who has an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis. Bockser, of Walnut Creek, California, was disappointed that the CLASS Act was scrapped, and says he doesn’t expect the government to solve everything. While anecdotes meant to personalize a story have their place, they sometimes act as a substitute for thorough reporting and explication. That was the case with this piece. Bockser’s mother, already ill with a disease that could send her to a nursing home, would not qualify for any long-term care policy I have ever examined. A kicker like that could have redeemed the story.

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.