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November 9, 2009

Orienting Health Care Reform Around Universal Access

Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(20):1830-1832. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.340

Hurricane Katrina devastated the health care infrastructure of New Orleans, Louisiana. Two public hospitals serving over 260 000 people annually in the New Orleans region—and as referral centers for nearly 2 million low-income people statewide—were destroyed. After the hurricane, federal officials argued that it was not necessary to rebuild the public health care system because Louisiana had enough money in the system to cover the uninsured with no additional funds. Local and state officials did not agree.