Press coverage of the proposed reg has been minimal, perhaps owing to the media’s holiday slowdown, or perhaps the issue’s potential for political controversy has run its course. A few outlets picked up the Times’s piece, but there was nothing like the media frenzy that struck in the summer of 2009. The government may simply start paying docs for counseling, or there may be a new round of death panel hysteria. But one thing is clear: the administration intends to use more rule-making procedures. That’s part of American democracy. Campaign Desk will be watching in the new year for media reports on what it is up to.

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.