From Reuters comes this bit of news.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, lawmakers in Washington have shelved -- at least temporarily -- plans to reduce spending on the massive Medicaid health program by $10 billion. The cuts were to be part of broader budget deficit-reduction legislation due September 16.
But there is another reason for the delay besides the need to provide immediate relief to hurricane victims -- even some Republican lawmakers say it would be bad public relations to cut Medicaid when so many poor people were disproportionately -- and visibly on national television -- affected by the hurricane. "This is not the time to take on Medicaid or other entitlements for the poor," said Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., a member of the Senate committee charged with making the cuts.
"At a time when millions are displaced and seeking federal and state assistance, we believe it is inappropriate to move forward on that portion of a legislative package that would cut programs like Medicaid, Food Stamps, WIC (a food program for pregnant women and children), housing and education," the letter said.
Other Republicans, however, said that while the federal government may well end up spending more on Medicaid to help the hurricane victims, it is important to proceed with the budget legislation as well. Said House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle, R-Iowa, "we're not cutting Medicaid. We're reforming government." hmmm..... how so?
Katrina's Silver Lining?
David Brook's makes some sense in his NY Times column . "That's why the second rule of rebuilding should be: Culturally Integrate. Culturally Integrate. Culturally Integrate. The only chance we have to break the cycle of poverty is to integrate people who lack middle-class skills into neighborhoods with people who possess these skills and who insist on certain standards of behavior." (click the link and read the entire article)
For all Things Katrina
Wikipedia has this page that will take you to everything you probably would want to know about Katrina. So, if you want to help, look here.