Almost Healthy
Part 2 - Don't Bus My Healthcare!

by Amy Zidell
09.08.09 - Part II in a series analyzing, evaluating, and exploring the humorous, political, and social implications of the state of healthcare.

[Disclaimer: This article should not be used for the aid of digestion or applied sparingly to any achy joints. You should read thoroughly with plenty of water. Additionally, neither this article nor its author should be construed to be providing or trying to provide professional or unprofessional medical advice or health care. This topic may aggravate you. If irritation develops, discontinue use. Read at your own risk.]

On the eve of President Obama speaking to a joint session of congress, in effect the American people, and, by virtue of television broadcasts, the world, I can't help but see ill-fated parallels between the Busing that ruined public schools in Los Angeles starting in the 70s and Obamacare.

Edmund Burke said, "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." Well, Democrats really can't helpful themselves, it seems. See, Busing ruined the public school system, at least in Los Angeles. So, if that's where they are getting their history lessons from, it's not their fault. They can't help it.

In the mid 1970s, public schools in Los Angeles were not consistent. Briefly, on the whole, public schools in suburban areas were quite good, while schools in the inner city were horrible. Concern over this disparity became a rally cry for politicians. Something must be done. The solution representatives came up with was to take students from the good schools and Bus them to the bad schools, and also take students from the bad schools and Bus them to the good schools. This process to fix the Los Angeles Unified School District, (LAUSD), was called Busing. No joke. The logic of the wheels on the Bus went round and round and round.

Setting aside any conspiracy theories that this plan was ultimately designed to create a dependent class of voters who would be loyal to Democrat sponsored government handouts, the sales pitch for this plan was to fix the failing schools. The result was that rather than improving the poorly performing schools, ALL the schools were made horrible. I lived through the destruction of the LAUSD schools. I saw it first hand. Initially, volunteers were Bused into my once grand elementary school. These Bused in students were disruptive, and I'm referring to jumping up on tables and throwing things in the middle of class disruptive. There were children who were seriously disturbed. Their presence in classrooms made instruction impossible. The Bused in students were violent and threatening to the local students.

I was faced with the uncertainty of possibly being Bused daily for hours to who knows where, enrolling at any number of new kitchen-table private schools of questionable credentials, or endure the undoubtedly itchy collars of uniforms of established private schools IF there was space and the means of paying tuition. My family opted to move to a different school district. Home schooling was not an established protocol in the area in this era.

Busing was extremely disruptive and destructive to the education of countless LAUSD students and families. Busing was a horrible, stupid, shortsighted policy that solved no problems, ruined wonderful schools, and did nothing to help bad schools. At best, the Busing plan offered brief moments of liberal guilt salve.

Just like the approach of healthcare reform proposed by President Obama and the Democrat leadership, Busing impacted all students and all schools within the district. It did not matter if you were happy with your school and education, your school was going to be 'reformed'. The spill over of Busing effected schools outside of the LA district, and had a negative influence on local economies. It's been reported over 80% of Americans are happy with their healthcare.

Just like the attitude of the healthcare reforms proposed by President Obama and the Democrat leadership, the focus on Busing was NOT on improving poorly performing schools. The attention was concerned with the differences between schools with no accounting for the diversity of the very large school district.

Just like the framers of the healthcare reforms proposed by President Obama and the Democrat leadership, the pro-Busing politicians failed to see that the qualities, good or bad, of a school are result of numerous factors not just a building. Such intangible characteristics can't be Bused or shipped from one location to another.

Just like the impatience of President Obama and the Democrat leadership to pass their proposed healthcare reforms, in a rush to enact change, Busing proponents had lowering standards as the only achievable option. After all, it is hard to fix something and very easy to break it.

Just like the pitchmen of the healthcare reforms proposed by President Obama and the Democrat leadership, Busing's homogenizing steps did not match the stated goals of school improvement. Same does not equal better.

Just like the methodology of the healthcare reforms proposed by President Obama and the Democrat leadership, bullying Busing policy didn't fit all. When you force a square peg in a round hole the peg gets damaged.

Rather than helping improve healthcare that is lacking for some, rather than reward and incentivize those maintaining health lifestyles, ALL healthcare will be made horrible. Busing did not improve public schools in Los Angeles; it ruined it. President Obama's healthcare plan will NOT improve health care for America - it will ruin it.

Hopefully the painful scenario of Obamacare passing and being enacted will never be realized. It would be a failure for President Obama. However, as President Obama emphasized in his September 8th address to the nation's schoolchildren, failures are part of success. So he shouldn't feel too badly. Failures help show where mistakes were made.

For those who wonder how Obamacare could be unraveled if enacted, they can take heart in what has peered forth in the rubble of LAUSD. The advent of charter or magnet schools, years after Busing was started and ended, offers a hint of public school competence in Los Angeles. Recent reports suggest the possibilities of privatization of certain charter schools. Just be a patient patient, the unraveling could take 30 or so years. The prospect of needing to RE-privatize the healthcare industry is enough to make anyone sick.

If the Busing parallel seems Almost Coherent, consider that a summertime free health clinic in the Los Angeles area Bused patients in. The message for congress and President Obama is clear: Don't BUS My Healthcare.

[ Previous Part I - A Tale of Three Patients Next Part 3 - What's With All The Insurance? (Or, See The Great Obama Perform A Magic Trick) ]

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