In Rockefeller’s home state of West Virginia, I found a fine series by Eric Eyre, a staff writer at the Charleston Gazette, which shows what people are up against when it comes to getting dental care and the consequences of not getting it: serious illness and infections, for example. The state has one of the lowest percentages of adults who see a dentist. If Rockefeller believes that health reform will cost too much, then the next story should be how Congress can slice and dice the federal budget and reprioritize it to free up money and help these constituents. The media need to show why reform can’t wait for the many people represented by members of the august Senate Finance Committee.

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.