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Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

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Cast your own vote on Obama's healthcare plan


You may have heard some mention now and then and around the clock during the last year of some very lengthy piece of healthcare legislation that President Obama wants very badly. You can tell the smoker wants it. Just look at him.

Well, here's your chance to cast your own vote below.

And the healthcare bill is pretty much the only thing he's talked about in town halls -- not counting his NCAA picks and one or two mentions of his war in Afghanistan.

The nifty healthcare bill won't cover Obama and his family; government folks are exempt from the legislation that they've decided is just right for the rest of us.

Anyway, over these past way too many months you may have also noticed a little bit of debate over this bill that would cost $940 billion, according to current estimates and you know how dead-on those always are.

During this healthcare debate unemployment rates went up and Obama's approval rating has now slipped below his disapproval rating. Additionally, Americans' opinion of the....

...Democratic-controlled Congress is now only about half that of Darth Cheney, if you can conceive of anything so low.

But the healthcare bill is such a good idea that even though Democrats overwhelmingly control both houses of Congress with Speaker Nancy Gimme the Wheel Pelosi and Sen. Harry No Dialect Reid at the helm,  the Democrats didn't have enough votes to pass the final package without a whole bunch of special, not-exactly-transparent deals.

There's some new kind of purchase for Louisiana and there was a whopping special deal for the vote of Nebraska's Ben Nelson that got leaked. So it had to be scrapped. And Cleveland Rep. Dennis Kucinich presumably got something more than a whee ride on Air Force One the other day. Because he announced soon after that he'd seen the president's light and had become a Yay vote.

Since the American voters and adverse polls don't count anymore on this one, Saturday the president traveled to Capitol Hill to give House Democrats a last last-minute sales pitch, which we published over here. Don't do it for me, he said, meaning something else.

So Sunday, for those who live that long, all these shenanigans will theoretically come to an end with a House vote on the Senate bill.

But why should the 535 members of Congress have all the fun?

As a refreshing change, we thought it might be a good idea -- quaint, but good -- to allow Americans themselves to vote on the issue. So we have assembled a simple ballot below. We hope you'll participate.

And if you do, we will officially deem it a success. Whatever the outcomes.

So, vote here now:

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (142)

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This country is going toward authoritarianism.
This country is officially creating 2 classes of citizens: the ones working for government and the ones paying their salaries and benefits.
This country is creating a new monarchy: Congress and the President who have their nice healthcare while we have a different regime.

Thank you Obamarx.

An immigrant who fled socialism.

This Poll is outrageous and biased. What happened to the LA Times?

(AM responds: The LATimes is a newspaper. This is a politics blog online. Since you find this vote outrageous, you obviously voted and disagree with the results. Thanks for sharing your opinion.)

Disgusted with all of you!

Small businesses will go under because they can't afford to pay the new insurance. Poor people who can't afford to buy it will go to jail because that's the can't afford it. It will become monopolies of the big corporations that can afford it which will then be nationalized. No more competition, no more free trade.

I, along with 70-80% of Americans GUARNANTEE he will NOT have 'the votes' come Nov 2010, and ESPECIALLY in 2012 when this joke stands, or kneels, BEGGING for a Second term. Between Obama and Pelosi, these two stooges have made us ALL FORGET what a Son Ova Bush, bush up, LEGALIZING 16 MILLION ILLEGALS and giving them citizenship, Social Security, home loans, Medicare, Section 8 housing vouchers, food stamps, welfare, and AMERICAN jobs...what did I forget? Oh yes...these illegals can then BRING IN ABOUT 20-30 FAMILY members to enjoy the blood and sweat of of great grandparents, grandparents, our parents.... PASS THIS ALONG IN OTHER POSTS IF YOU AGREE WITH ME...ALL INCUMBENTS MUST BE VOTED OUT!!

As a 30 year old professional with no clue as to how my health will be in 3 years, let alone 30 years, I am so glad that the bickering stopped, the stalling has been pushed aside, and the real work of reform is FINALLY under way. I support President Obama and his healthcare reform push. I am actually about to call Congressman Waxman at 202-225-3976 and tell him:

From a concerned and uninsured constituent: THANK YOU for this vote. You took a political risk for those of us unrepresented and we appreciate it.

Now, I'm going to be paying VERY close attention as to who voted against this and the jobs bill and believe us, Congress and the Sentate will have a lot of explaining to do this Nov. when I ask "Why didn't YOU want me to have healthcare?". Be warned, my righteous voter vengeance is coming.

Instead of Top of the Ticket, why not name it Andrew Malcolm's T-baggin' blog?

It would be more honest.

(AM responds: You call your blog whatever you want. We'll call ours whatever we want. Thanks for joining the crowd here.)

This article - well, it's not really an article, is it? - is snarky, puerile, and well offensive. It is demeaning to the president, and below the standards of any serious news organization. Equally offensive are Andrew Malcom's pathetic, defensive retorts to the comments. He is an embarrassment, and the Times should be ashamed of itself for printing this ridiculous trash. I'm happier each day that I cancelled my subscription.

(AM responds: Too bad for you, David. Canceling any subscription can't save you from the refreshing freedom of online blogs, of which we are one. Thanks for stopping by and even commenting.)

Obama was a community organizer always trying to help the poor and those on the lower economic spectrum. What did the people think when they voted for "Change You Can Believe In." He even said in an interview he felt people needed to share more of what they had with others. He's just making sure this happens. He has no idea about costs -- and does not care. Worse yet is the stupidity of those in Congress who have not only been sucked in but who also are big believers in taking what they can from the middle class. The Chicago thugs led by Obama sure put one over on the electorate. But give them credit, they also exploited the George Bush hatred and the Republican's inability to put forth a competitive candidate. Now, all we can hope for is tons of litigation to undo what Obama has done.

No health care for me. My family and I will not be strong armed into health care. I work in Maryland and they already got all their polls and assessments out as if this is passed. I also will not pay for all of Obama's bills. I will not relinquish the right to carry a gun, which will be his next target. I am for separation of banks, car industry and government. If we go back to cut spending, by deleting public servants salaries and pensions, we will be soon back to a real budget. After that we can reform our legislative branch and cut all their unnecessary amendments to our constitution. Once that is accomplished, we dismember the Unions, especially the teacher's union and get education back on track. Once all this is accomplished, we will be a great nation once again. As you can tell, I am not into politics, but common sense. Thank you for still allowing me to voice my opinion

bring the jobs back to the U S A ease the e.p.a and d.e.p regulations and labor laws. jobs and product make money and with that people have money to by insurance. no jobs money runs out health care falls only to the very rich ,doctors dwindle, we become a 3rd world country .

I'm not going for this. I'll just ignore the President as I have since he got in office and vote on every candidate who agrees to repeal this wet dream of liberals.

I demand that all government workers, including the president and vice-president take an immediate 50% cut in pay. Also they will be included in coverage by the new healthcare bill and be entered into social security as their retirement program. This USA is bankrupt and can no longer pay them like they are royalty so they will have to survive like the rest of us. IF THEY DON'T LIKE THIS PLAN WE WILL GO TO THE 25% PLAN. GOD save the land!!!

I can not believe this country elected that muslim do nothing to president of this prime land of the LORD JESUS CHRIST! HOW DID WE GET IN THIS MESS? Who didn't know that this is what he would do. "Hint" he had been attending a hate America church for 20 years!

What is going on is wrong, very very, wrong on so many levels you can't write about all of them.

First the banks, then the automobile industry and now this!

What is next?
What are they (the dems) trying to do totally ruin this country?

Our great grandchildren will be paying for all of this.

I do agree we need a health care plan, but NOT this one!

After reading the comments above (Yes, even the ones where people's keyboards got stuck on Caps) I am convinced the Times has some pretty ignorant readers. It might be wise to visit some Washington DC newspaper websites and actually READ (sorry mine got stuck too) what the bill would or would not do. Contempt before investigation truely shows one's low IQ.

I would not vote for anything the dem`s put foward , don`t trust most of them

obama,has only tried to give americans less fortunate with health insurance & for those who have to pay for it without your employer helping, you know your rates are out of control. but you want to beat him up for it ,really
catch a should be after your doctor & drug makers

for the cost of the med's & medical bills if you don't,you will not have a nest egg for retirement.go to other nations. see what the cost for heatlh care is there.i have heatlh isurance & today i am very please to see such an effort to give sometime to the american people.richard lq

Socialism is slavery. Paying for courts and national defense and infrastructure is one thing. When the fruits of your labors are confiscated and redistibuted to someone the government deems more worthy, that is slavery. I would gladly leave the United States for good if there was some other place where I could live free. Europe is already enslaved by the socialists and rapidly turning to Islam as well. Latin America is an oligarchy just like Europe. Africa and Asia are as corrupt as Chicago. Is there anywhere on this Earth where one can still live free? We producers need a country.

It's not as good as I thought it should be, because it doesn't have a public option; but it's there, and it will make a very big difference. The Republicans need to be called for their demagoguery and lies on this issue. For Democrats, let's recall the words of a great American president as we face the months ahead: "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

I do not want the government in my bed, bank, church, or doctor's office. People and businesses are leaving California the only ones left are the ones that feed off the government. Between Arnold and Obama, the middle working class are screwed!

The Republicans are lying about this bill. This bill is based on the recommendations for an insurance marketplace from Republicans... Howard Baker and Bob Dole... (a Republican nominee for President). So unless they are socialists then this bill is not socialist. It is not a government takeover. There is no public option. But all those Republicans who don't want people to pay for insurance (those who can't afford it won't have to) are just wanting people to mooch off of everyone else by going to an emergency room for care and sending everyone else's premiums sky high. I thought Republicans stood for personal responsibility, but now they are for people freeloading off the system.

A lot of the comments here are related to this reform being a "socialist" bill. This is simply not true. This legislation is about reforming the private insurance market place and in some cases health care itself. To call this socialized medicine is a lie or at the very least a distortion of the facts. Read the bill - I did - and you will see that there are a lot of very good things in the bill to curtail what the insurance companies can or can not do with your health care. While this bill is not perfect, it is a very solid start and should be quite helpful in the short term in getting a lot of people off the preexisting condition merry-go-round. The Republicans did a very good job at distorting the bill and defending the insurance companies because they are in the pockets of the insurance company executives in one way or another. I'm sure everyone on this comment thread will benefit in one way or another from the reforms in this bill; however it is quite clear that most of you have clearly not read it. Before you all go off and make your ignorant comments about the legislation, read.

Wow, the LA Times really has changed. I clicked on this story because I thought I might read balanced reporting that could rise to the occasion of the significance of such a historic piece of legislation. What I came across was pretty much the opposite. The personal rant of a person who can't contain contain his outrage that the bill passed. Thank you for the disappointing reminder that the Times isn't half the paper (in quantity or quality) of what used to be.

(AM responds: Hey, you're welcome. This isn't the paper. You can tell cause there's no paper. And it's free. But we and the editors are delighted that you and so many others stop by these days. This is great.)

Hey guess what? All the poor dysfunctional states that loved slavery are at it again...lets vote down health insurance for the poor...wait we are the poor...we forgot...look at how the states voted...rural poor south and midwest votes no on healtcare...educated urban vote yes...big mystery...think racism plays a role?

OMG...........the money spent on healthcare will pale in comparison to the money WASTED on the war in Iraq and chasing around some illusive figure in Afghanistan. HHHmmm, spend money on our own citizens health or blow-up innocent civilians while occupying other countries? I guess we know where the right-wing-tea-baggers stand on that issue. Pro-life? Give me a break.

I wish all of Congress would go home and stay there, at least until Jan 20th, 2013. If we are stupid enough to vote in the same miscreants, then we deserve our fate!

Mr. Malcolm - Your response to criticism that "this is a blog," not a newspaper is lame beyond imagining. Are you not associated with the Los Angeles Times? Do you not have a responsibility to at least appear unbiased? If your answer to the latter question is, "no" then I hope the editors wake up and do something about you. Blog or no blog, your comments and postings are unacceptable. That they appear on the website gives them a legitamacy that they do not deserve. The hysteria that you have stirred up by this "blog" is alarming. If violence against any politician or the President occurs even in part do to this irresponsible blog, YOU will be partially to blame.

(AM responds: Bias is in the eye of the beholder. You didn't like that one or a bunch of ones. Fine. So what? "Hysteria"? Online? Among people disagreeing over something your guy did or something written here about what he tried to do? You're kidding, right? You do need to get out in the world more. Thanks for visiting.)

It is long over due that additional parties find their way into the political system. I am not talking about a party whose only common thread is anger and rage based on many pet agendas and party-line parroted ad hominem attacks. I mean a party founded on a rare alternative much needed approach in this environment... one of calm, sober, intellect... unbiased analyzation, a willingness to compromise, but beyond all else to prioritize the freedom and best interest of "the people". Who are the people? The life blood or engine that has always powered this country is the middle class- of both political parties. Unfortunately, the work ethic, loyalty and assets of these people have been sucked dry and their thought process thwarted and diverted by false agendas and political rock throwing. The reality is that both parties are two sides of the same coin who serve the same master- follow the money and power and see who has benefited from BOTH parties policies over the last 25 years and aside from surface labels and stump speeches, you see little to no difference. The distinction is superficial.

Affiliations aside, the vast majority of people in this country want the same things and are being sold out and manipulated by a very few. The Art of War preaches a simple strategy when outnumbered by a foe. Drag out a conflict... do anything in your means to fatigue and tire the enemy. An exhausted enemy is a vulnerable enemy... First divide, then conquer your tired foe. How to do this? With a little help, we do it to ourselves. Dangle a carrot... a standard of living and lifestyle- keep the people working hard and long to attain what is truly out of reach so that they don't have the time or energy to truly analyze and investigate to be involved with the process. Is there a working person you know that is not on the brink of exhaustion trying to keep their head above water? Divert attention, divide them with hot button emotional issues which have little to do with every day life or the most pressing issues. Watch Fox, CNN, MSNBC and get a daily dose of endless, confrontational ranting and name calling. Hard to find a rational, sober civil discussion based on respect anywhere these days.

Next time you want to discuss our country and its future or politics- see if you can set aside knee-jerk words that end thought and spark emotion such as, Right winger, Republican, Neo-Con, Lib, Marxist, Socialist, Nazi, Terrorist. A good place to start is common ground, then work from there. You may be surprised that... sound bites and labels aside, most of the people in this country have many of the same needs and wants, and pressures and dreams. How about we try something different, set aside differences and concentrate on common goals. The middle class has the power to accomplish great things if we do this.... we simply need to re-remember it.

America needs 16,000 more IRS agents
as per this new "Medical" law
like it needs A Stalin or a Lenin
in power.

Oh, I forgot we already have a Lenin
and a Stalin in Obama.

Socorro Varela

How biased is this stupid poll? Common LA Times... You really think you're a newspaper when you publish things like this?

What, are we just supposed to ignore your "Obamacare" picture and commentary, Mr. Malcolm?

Look, you might try to use the excuse "Oh, it's just a blog, not part of the paper", but guess what - It's sponsored by the LA Times. It's files are on the LA Times server. You use the LA Times network to post/communicate. The LA Times links your 'blog' to the front page whenever a political story comes up.

The byline of your blog specifically states " Politics and commentary, coast to coast, from the Los Angeles Times".

Does the LA Times know that your 'commentary' veers into smear tactics of the Tea Party movement? Does the editor (if the LA Times even has one anymore) know that you have commented to others "if you don't like it, don't read it, go ahead cancel your paper subscription because it won't hurt my blog".

Do you write this blog for free? Or does the LA Times pay you. Or does someone else.

What's wrong with the reading audience of the LA Times (online or not) with asking for a bit of objectivity, being that you are sponsored by said LA Times.

(AM responds: Nothing wrong with objectivity. It doesn't really exist; it's just a label people throw around for things they like or don't like. But don't look for it on a politics blog. That's the point of so clearly labeling this page as "BLOG" and "Commentary," which we're so delighted you noticed. You think we hate the Tea Party movement and others think we're a right-wing arm. How's that for differing objectivity? And, by the way if you're going to throw around "quotation marks" around someone else's alleged words, try getting the words inside accurate first. You're showing your own non-objectivity so clearly. Thanks for joining the growing crowds checking us out. This is fun!)

Do you people have any idea what effect this is going to have on California? Do you understand this bill? Millions of people in CA will now be covered under medicaid and the Feds will only reimburse us for part of the cost. Where is the money going to come from? We are already broke and have a unemployment rate pushing 15%. Unfortunately education is going to suffer and the standard solution of raising taxes will just drive more businesses from our state. I am really sorry for our children who are going to have to pay for this mess.

Interesting that AM feels it necessary to edit every comment critical of him with an immediate rebuttal, but lets bigoted comments like ALICE GLEASON's stand alone.

(AM responds to "Jonathan": So you don't like the author's responses so much that you want more of them? Got it! Thanks again.)

these 'polls' are extremely biased. who heck wrote these?

(AM responds: If you get a chance, read the words with the vote and the author's real name is there, unlike so many commenters who make ones up here. Thanks for joining in.)

We need health care reform but we do NOT need this goverment take over the best health care in the world. We need tort reform, the ability to shop competitively over state lines and the ability to buy prescription drugs outside the U.S. We need to control healthy care costs and this bill does not do that. It is a disaster waiting for small business and individuals. I think we are all going to regret it deeply.

Wow this paper is showing its RIGHT WING side today.

(AM responds: This isn't a newspaper. It's a politics blog free to write as it wishes and you are free to not read as you wish. Seems fair all around. Thanks for voting like so many others. Isn't this fun?)

rukidding posted at Mar 20, 7:35 pm
"Those of us who oppose the federal takeover of health care as the keystone in completion of the 70 year transformation of America to the tyrannical social democratic state it is rapidly becoming cannot control what the Social Democrat Party in congress does or what infamy it undertakes in pursuit of it's ideological ambitions."

Well, the "Social Democrat Party" as you ignorantly call it, just kicked the heck out of the Anti-Social Racist Republic Party.

First, let's remember that this is not an objective "poll" as such, measuring the feelings of a representative sample of any population. It is a tabulation of clicks by individuals who happen to sign on and choose to participate. That said, the questions are typically right-leaning fodder for talking points and outrage, preceded by a bunch of right-wing blather intended to inlfuence whatever results are obtained.

Socialism is slavery. Paying for courts and national defense and infrastructure is one thing. When the fruits of your labors are confiscated and redistibuted to someone the government deems more worthy, that is slavery. I would gladly leave the United States for good if there was some other place where I could live free. Europe is already enslaved by the socialists and rapidly turning to Islam as well. Latin America is an oligarchy just like Europe. Africa and Asia are as corrupt as Chicago. Is there anywhere on this Earth where one can still live free? We producers need a country.

Posted by: Windfall | March 21, 2010 at 09:39 PM

Hey, go rent an igloo up at the pole and start a nation featuring a dingbat Alaskan Snapper as your fearless leader.

Obama qualifications to reform health care:

"Influential" In Univ Chicago Med Ctr hiring practices

No birth certificate

Can not stop smoking

Difficulty telling the truth.

Narcissistic personality disorder.

Therefore, I Igor produce Obama Birth Certificate at

Compare Obama Care vs Igor Care at Obama vs Igor Care

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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