As I write this editor's note at the beginning of the summer of 2016, yet more increases in US health care prices on the state marketplaces are reported. Individual plans are requesting a 10 percent increase on average (Abelson and Sanger-Katz 2016). Another study reported that out-of-pocket spending per hospital stay increased by 37 percent (from $738 to $1,013) over a four-year period (North 2016). Yet, for those of us who have been studying the US health care system for a long time, these findings seem less novel than a repeated echo of a persistent problem in the United States—persistent, in part, many argue, because politicians are unwilling to actually address health care prices in the United States.

Or are they?

The first article in this issue by Philip Rocco, Andrew S. Kelly, Daniel Béland, and Michael Kinane argues that policy entrepreneurs in many states have “reconfigured the...

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