You may recall the lovely Dauphin Island from new stories after hurricane Katrina:
Dauphin Island is a barrier island located three miles south of the mouth of Mobile Bay in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the (Town of Dauphin Island) there are approximately 1300 permanent residents. The island is approximately 14 miles long and 1 ¾ miles wide at the widest point. The eastern six miles are inhabited while the western 8 miles are undeveloped and privately owned.
Dauphin frequently suffers damage from hurricanes and “[o]ver 5 million dollars of state and federal aid have been used to build berms on Dauphin Island.”
But what interests me about Dauphin Island these days is this:
Nearly 20,000 communities across the United States and its territories participate in the NFIP by adopting and enforcing floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. In exchange, the NFIP makes Federally backed flood insurance available to homeowners, renters, and business owners in these communities. Community participation in the NFIP is voluntary. Moreover, flood insurance may designed to provide an alternative to disaster assitance to help reduce costs of repairing damage to buildings.
My emphasis. I didn’t do a lot of research for this post, so it could be that I’m missing something vitally important here, but I think it’s crazy that I live in a country where you can build a house on a 14-mile-wide island in the gulf of Mexico that is right down hurricane alley and the federal government will guarantee your flood insurance so that you can continue to live there without risk, yet the federal government will not help you obtain health insurance if you have no other option. Your health or rather your ability to live or die is less important than your vacation home. It’s really quite crazy.