The voters will decide, I guess. But they need help in understanding healthcare’s big questions, and what’s really behind the candidates’ words and apparently changing positions. That calls for a robust and honest discussion of the issues, which has been lacking.

Political forces are boxing candidates into a corner, causing them—as in the case of Warren and Romney—to run away from positions they once took. That narrows the debate, and it would be better if the press was not part of the narrowing process.

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.