Forget David Axelrod. The real story here is how those candidate-touted market forces are actually causing hospitals to fight with each other for elite patients, while the clinics must compete with each other for the crumbs—the few dollars that community organizations, including hospitals, are willing to spend on care for the poor. The Washington Post began to explore some of this, noting that the University of Chicago Medical Center did lend part-time personnel to some clinics and gave $350,000 to another. While helpful, many clinic directors will say these are really bandages, and that more systemic change is needed. What are the candidates going to do about the widening divide between rich and poor in health care? That’s the story we’d like the media to investigate as we head toward November. It’s time for some hard questions, and the Chicago contretemps offers a good segue.

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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.