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.