She has insurance through the university, and, like Paxton and Smale, her health benefits will eventually be cut. She didn’t seem to know about that. She sees some value in the reform law, but adds “I don’t like the mandate. I don’t see how it’s going to work. Everyone has a right to health care but it shouldn’t be forced.” Her solution: allow the state or the federal government to give people the choice of opting into Medicaid. Medicaid is good insurance, she explained. That would, of course, put the system on a path to a national health insurance system, an approach the pols and the stakeholders rejected last year.

If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.

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.