Health care soaks up about one-sixth of the nation’s economy. It could soak up an even greater portion of the nation’s political attention in the next year, if Democrats follow through on plans to pursue comprehensive health care reform. So we’ve decided the issue deserves its own blog, The Treatment. I'll be the primary writer and editor. Reporter-researcher Suzy Khimm will be a regular contributor, as will a number of guest bloggers.

The blog's primary focus will be the financing and delivery of health care, with a particular focus on the insurance system--a subject I've been covering for more than a decade, culminating with my 2007 book, Sick. (You can read more about that book, and my background, here.) But we'll also strive to cover other health policy topics, from tobacco regulation to drug safety. With the help of some outside contributors, we may even venture beyond policy, to broader questions about medicine, science, and professional ethics.

That's a pretty diverse set of issues--one that will surely test the limits of our expertise. So please help with suggested links and ideas for posts, by contacting us at And, as always, please contribute to the comments section. We hope to spark plenty of spirited, though hopefully civil, debates. As in medicine, we know, sometimes it's good to get a second opinion.

--Jonathan Cohn