Ron Pollack is back, too, saying: “I think it shows that the American people are coming together.” Really? The significance of the current Harry and Louise redux is not that groups with wildly different agendas can now play nicely together—although arguably that’s the message the sponsors want to send. It’s that the range of acceptable solutions to the health care crisis hasn’t advanced much since 2000. Or since 1994, for that matter. University of North Carolina health policy professor Jonathan Oberlander made that point recently on NPR. “A lot of things have happened in 16 years; the health care system is much worse than it was, but we pretty much have the same solutions that we’ve always had.” That’s the story Fred Mogul was beginning to sniff out; that’s the story that needs to be told.

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.