In his state of the union speech, President Bush said about one paragraph about Katrina relief and pledged $18 billion to the effort this year. This is about the least he could say, and the money is a fraction of the $70 billion in new tax cuts that are being proposed right now in Congress. Let's be honest; the situation in New Orleans is no more a concern for this administration than it has been since the day they took office.
So we should perhaps not be surprised, though we may be apalled at the present state of health care in New Orleans, especially for the uninsured.
in this flooded city there is only one for the uninsured and it doesn’t treat broken bones....
In the same concrete structure where thousands of fleeing families waited in vain for food and water, they now wait for medical care, dispensed by a skeletal staff of doctors working out of a collection of military tents.
Inside their plastic and canvas walls, the doctors can only offer the most rudimentary care: They can X-ray bones, but not set them. They can draw blood and diagnose an ailment, but not treat it beyond prescribing pills. And with no ER and no capacity to operate, they can’t do much more than stabilize trauma patients before sending them by ambulance elsewhere, often far away.
These tents are all that remain of Charity Hospital, the 270-year-old institution which for generations was the medical epicenter of the city’s uninsured....
“If you have cancer, my advice is move. If you need dialysis, go. Get out of here. If you have any major illness and are uninsured, we cannot possibly accommodate your needs. You will die sooner if you stay here,” said Dr. Peter DeBlieux, the head of emergency services for what remains of Charity Hospital.
This is what you see typically in third world countries, not in America. Conditions like this may have been understandable (though not acceptable) in the days immediately after the disaster, but this is February! SIX MONTHS LATER! And not a dime has even been appropriated to build a hospital that caters to the uninsured here (I guess the next round of the GOP's unending parade of tax cuts is more important.)
What is really amazing to me is how the President bragged in his 2004 state of the union address about how much we were spending to build hospitals in Iraq, but they can't even come up with the money to rebuild one in New Orleans.
President Bush did not cause Katrina (the effects of global warming over the decades notwithstanding). But by turning his back on this situation, it is clear that what we see happening today in New Orleans is the President's vision for health care in America. If you are uninsured and break your arm, well maybe they can write you a prescription for it, and then hope you can at least pay the pharmacy. Does anyone doubt that a new generation of 'snake oil salesmen' and charletans with at best a rudimentary knowledge of medicine treating desperate people on the black market can't be far behind, if it isn't here already?