By Eugene Robinson
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The Obama administration is making a big health-care mistake. I'm not talking about the final push for comprehensive reform legislation, which is righteous and necessary. I mean the sale of more than 100,000 contaminated trailers and mobile homes -- a move that could make people sick.
The trailers are a legacy of the Bush administration's botched response to Hurricane Katrina. They were purchased by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as temporary housing for displaced Gulf Coast residents, but some people who moved into them reported burning eyes, irritated throats, headaches and nosebleeds.
The Sierra Club began testing the air in some of the trailers in 2006 and found unusually high levels of formaldehyde. The government delayed almost two years, as reports of illness mounted, before declaring in 2008 that all those living in the trailers should move out.