Instead it wasted two graphs on Gov. Bobby Jindal’s comments about his pregnant mother—who, when she arrived in America, couldn’t get insurance to cover his birth—and pointed out that Obama must clarify how he will make good on his campaign promises to eliminate preexisting conditions clauses. Once readers are sucked in with a good lede, they need someone to connect the dots in the right spot in the story. And they need to be shown how healthy thirty-four-day-old babies—or any other person, for that matter—will be helped or hurt by what’s on the legislative table.

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.