Initial Health Policy Responses to Hurricane Katrina and Possible Next Steps

Brief

Initial Health Policy Responses to Hurricane Katrina and Possible Next Steps

Abstract

Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of the New Orleans health care system. The devastation was especially profound for the low-income uninsured, most of whom depend heavily on a handful of providers. Focusing on the low-income population, this essay examines some of the early responses to the many health care issues that surfaced in Katrina's wake, and discusses emerging issues that both private and public decisionmakers will face. One potential strategy for rebuilding is a health care safety net based on a continuum of care to low-income residents, integrating a network of community clinics with a new but smaller Charity Hospital.

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