Link: Just Practicing: Enough.
Debate all you want about Iraq and if Bush lied about what he knew and how we ended up in that quagmire. I know this: Bushie lied about helping out after Katrina.
A year and a half after Katrina we learned what many insiders knew all along. He had the authority to waive the Stafford Act's requirement of a local 5-10% match for recovery efforts. It was waived, by executive order, after Hurricane Andrew. It was waived after 9/11. Not for Katrina. 5-10% may not sound like much. But for Waveland, it was.
When 90% of your housing is damaged, it's too much. When every component of infrastructure needs rebuilding--sewer, water, electricity, roads, government buildings, police and fire, should we keep going?--it's too much. When you no longer have a tax base to speak of, it's too much. Ah, we should have just called it quits at that point. But our president promised to set things right, so we stayed.
The government has done NOTHING for healthcare after Katrina. No, let me clarify: it has done nothing for the private practitioner. There was an uncompensated care pool that helped hospitals from August 29, 2005 through January 31, 2006 (oh! so generous!).
Hospitals and nursing homes can apply for part of a $160 million pool just released by Health and Human Services (though allocated from the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005--but what's two years among friends?) Oh, New Orleans also gets $10 million to recruit new "providers" into the area (whatever that term means). The ones already here get a big fat F*** You. Not even a thank you. Mere days after Katrina officials on the state and federal levels were being told--from people on the ground--what needed to be done. Increase Medicaid reimbursement for pediatricians treating Katrina survivors (both the ones remaining on the Gulf Coast and the ones dealing with the flood of evacuees in Baton Rouge, Houston, and the like). Reimburse for the surge of uninsured patients. Give government resources such as trailers for office space so local MDs can start seeing patients again. None of these suggestions--or others--has been even considered, let alone debated or implemented.