Affordability is too important to ordinary folks for the media to let the issue slide past. Last fall custodians, landscapers, plumbers, and other workers at Georgetown University cheered out loud when their union negotiated a new contract provision that freezes the employees’ share of health insurance premiums for one year. (Premium increases were capped at a little under $28 for the least expensive family plan). About the same time, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s annual Employer Health Benefits Survey announced that workers’ share of premiums had increased significantly from the year before—to about $700 on average for single policies and about $3,300 for family coverage: Not exactly small change for people whose budgets are being squeezed from so many directions.

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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.