The public sees the need for changes to improve the performance and finances of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid but does not support reductions in benefits. Republicans have divisions in their ranks on entitlement reforms.
There is broad, and strong, opposition to the proposal among older Americans and those who are paying a lot of attention to the issue.
The American public's sour mood is in interesting contrast with many of the public's views during the Great Depression of the 1930s, not only on economic, political and social issues, but also on the role of government in addressing them.
Religious beliefs continue to be influential in shaping some Americans' views about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Far fewer cite religion as a top influence on issues such as immigration, the environment and poverty.
While a majority of Americans favors allowing changes to Social Security, there is very little support for replacing Medicare with a voucher system. Also, the public continues to see no clear leader atop the GOP.
Much of the opposition to health care reform today is being fueled by anti-government sentiment that did not exist during the mid-1960's.
As the economy sputters, states are taking extraordinary measures to help people keep food on the table, and a federal program is their primary tool.
Meeting in Washington, the states’ chief executives made clear their unhappiness with federal standards for driver’s licenses and costly new Medicaid rules.
President Bush’s $3 trillion fiscal 2009 budget comes at a time when many states face a budget shortfall; new restrictions on health insurance for children, Medicaid and other programs may add to their burdens.
Halfway through a two-year test run, Florida's nationally acclaimed pilot program to introduce competition to its Medicaid program has met mixed success.