My mind went into dot-connection mode. What a disconnect between what Berwick was touting and the Times’s revelations! Pledges of business-government cooperation won’t mean a tinker’s damn if the people Wyden intended to help can’t afford insurance, take the penalty, and go without care. Health reform has now moved big time to the dot-connection stage. Consider this choice thing. We constantly hear from the pols, businesses, and others about consumer choice, but the actions of the budget negotiators lock consumers into expensive plans and legally bar them choosing something different. How’s that for choice? The Times has led the way. It’s up to other health reform eager beavers in the press to take it from there.

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.