How can she write something like this?
Of all the factors blocking the economic revival of New Orleans, the shattered health care system may be the most important — and perhaps the most intractable.We have the following:
1. A failed and only haltingly improving flood protection system.
2. A failed system of property insurance--government flood insurance that runs out of money, private insureres who know how to collect premiums but who run away from paying out claims.
3. A federal government that is content to sit on the side awaiting "plans" and "local initiative" while a substantial region disappears. (What would've happened if FDR waited for local initiative when the Tennessee Valley didn't have electricty?)
4. A state government packed with pikers from the north who couldn't care less about us "papists and queers" down south.
5. A local government that doesn't want to tell anybody "no," including murderous criminals.
6. A housing market that is reflective of the national housing market, e.g. one that seems designed to reward construction of useless condos and to penalize taking a risk on up-and-comers in the economy. But here, it's different, because we need housing so that we can repopulate.
All of this is going, but Ms. Eaton says that it's the health care system that's holding us back.
Look, I've been at the emergency room with a teenaged son and an elderly grandmother. Was it a pain? Yes. Was it a model for the nation? No. But is that the MAIN problem holding the recovery back? Not even close.
I'm losing patience with the particulars of the New York Times's coverage. I am grateful that they keep writing stories about us, but I'm sick of how wrong they get it so often.
UPDATE: By the way, although the article exaggerates the health care issue to the exclusion of other issues, it does point out some other information that is useful.
1. President Bush and his hacks (and that is what they are--Texas cronies no smarter or more competent that our disgusting president) don't care about sick people in a manmade disaster area. They want us to use federal money to buy private health insurance for poor people, but there is only about half of the money necessary to do the job. Dr. Fred Cerise--our secretary of health and hospitals, a good man who is being hosed by the feds--has enough integrity to say so, too. MY QUESTION, which is really Michael Moore's question: Why do we need the middle man? Why use federal money to pay private insurers to cover about half of the people who need insurance? Why not just pay the doctors and nurses, not the marketing people at United Healthcare? I'll bet we could cover a lot more people that way.
2. I have to stop now. My heart is racing and I'm nauseous due to the stress of thinking about arrogant NY Times reporters and lazy Bush hacks. Wouldn't want to have to go to a NOLA emergency room, would I?