Who won and who lost? The state successfully defended the rate reductions, and despite Anthem arguments that rates were inadequate, the company made a profit. On the issues of legal precedent, it was a draw. Large insurers have other ways to press their agendas. Anthem won big in the legislature—ridding themselves of pesky rate regulations while showing the world that the mighty insurance industry is still mighty enough to thwart health reform. As for the public and the press, the word “losers” seems to apply.

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.