Last week, I visited the Venice Family Clinic in Los Angeles near a public housing project in a poor neighborhood. Two days later, I drove to a South Los Angeles area where pollution from the freeway—not to mention mold, rat droppings, dust and cockroaches—infest crowded apartments, causing asthma that sends children to the nearby St. John’s Well Child and Family Center.

I visited St. John’s and the Venice clinic while trying to make sense of the health care debate, which should be dominating the presidential campaign but has so far failed to do so. I was angry that Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-all plan, and other Democratic contenders’ plans for health care reform, are being lost in campaign news dominated by the ever-present, ever-bombastic Donald Trump. Unbelievably, this demagogic liar and foe of democratic values, is calling the shots in the presidential campaign.

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