Take sentence 1. "He" is insisting that steps be taken. Let's suppose that he's the manager of a coal mine. The union bosses have been to talk with him about the dangerous mine situation because nothing is being done.
The union reps come out and tell their members:
"He insists that steps are taken to meet this danger".
But they know that steps are not taken. The manager is lying.
The problem is that manager is not insisting that steps will be taken; he is claiming that are already being taken. The unions go on strike.
Sentence 2. He is anxious that the truth be known.
"He" this time is a pedophile with a computer full of kiddie porn. To say:
"He is anxious that the truth be known about his situation" means he wants help, or to be punished.
"He is anxious that the truth is known about his situation" means he does NOT want to be caught, but he is afraid that the truth is already known - quite the opposite of the subjunctive sentence.
Sometimes you don't need to use the subjunctive, and many people wouldn't. A father might say to his child "I insist that you're a good boy while I'm away". If the father and son both take it to mean that the father is actually insisting that he be a good boy, then there's no harm done (except that the kid will grow up using the subjunctive wrongly).
The father could have said. "I insist that you behave yourself". or, "You better behave yourself", or "If I come home and find you've been a naughty boy ...."
There are indicative ways of getting around it if you don't want to write a subjunctive sentence, but the solution is not to change the good subjunctive verb with the indicative verb.
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