More than two years after hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf region and destroyed large swaths of New Orleans, local and federal officials are trying to determine the appropriate approach to rebuilding the health care system. Prior to Katrina, Louisiana’s health care infrastructure was a two-tiered system. The middle class relied largely on the private health care system while the poor relied on a state-sponsored hospital network known as the “Charity” system.
Should the existing “Charity” system be rebuilt, or should the system be scrapped in favor of a more primary care based model? Should there be some hybrid of the two? How much should be spent, and who should pay the bill? What role should the federal government play, both in financing and in shaping the decisions?
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