This summer, Kay Lazar at The Boston Globe found them and reported on efforts to fix the problem that has Jon Hurst so upset. Solutions range from creating a non-profit small business purchasing cooperative to allowing small business owners to reduce their upfront costs by shifting the burden and charging employees higher out-of-pocket prices. That proposal backed by insurers would also cap payments to hospitals and doctors at ten percent above what Medicare pays. Doctors and hospitals are furious at the prospect, Lazar reported. Ah—that balloon problem again!

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.