Nagin to Feds: Cut Red Tape
New Orleans mayor tells Congress of dire need for docs, mental health workers
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Aug 2, 2007 3:40 PM CDT
Julie Andrews, a former public housing resident from New Orleans, speaking to a housing panel including New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., during a town hall meeting in New...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Ray Nagin delivered an unscripted plea to Congress yesterday, asking for a more urgent response to the health-care crisis that has plagued New Orleans since Katrina hit in 2005. Both Republicans and Democrats echoed the mayor's frustrations at the federal government's inaction on the city's pronounced shortage of physicians and mental health professionals, the Times-Picayune reports.

Red tape has thwarted hospital construction and blocked aid from getting into the right hands quickly enough.  "It shouldn't be this hard in the greatest country in the world, and I'm pretty sick about it," said the mayor. Meanwhile, a federal appeals court ruled today that homeowners and businesses who lost property during Katrina cannot recover damages from insurance companies.