• What’s the practical implication of a plan—can enough people use it to provide a real choice, as advocates claim? Will it be touted as reform but actually fall short, as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountabilty Act (HIPAA) did in 1996? That’s a story journalists missed back then, as CJR pointed out at the time.

• Show how it will affect different groups of people.

• Move beyond the ideology. There’s a lot more to talk about than insurers demagoguing “socialized medicine” and advocates hoping for single-payer through the back door.

For more from Trudy Lieberman on health reform, click here.

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.