It’s hard to expect politicians to be honest during a campaign. But it’s a different story for journalists. So instead of trying to make the candidates sound like they’re really going to give us a universal, national health insurance system like the rest of the world, let’s be honest. Tell audiences exactly what the candidates mean. Forget the buzz words. Journalists’ credibility will go up, even if the candidates’ credibility goes down.

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.