In Washington, both the Business Journal and The Seattle Times have been on this story. But the significance of the what’s-the-right-amount-of-competition question has yet to generate much press attention in other states, and it should. This question is at the heart of the price/benefit calculus—how good will insurance policies be, and is the price reasonable for the coverage? Whether the exchange takes an active role in judging these policies or allows every Tom, Dick, and Harry to sell has been central to the dispute in Washington over who can offer policies to the public. Reporters in other states ought to explain how this issue is playing out in their backyards, too.

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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.