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.
More say the president and GOP leaders are not working together, as Obama's approval inches lower and the Democratic Party's favorability falls sharply. Opinion about the economy remains negative with personal financial assessments becoming more bearish.
Support for Obama's job performance -- as well as his handling of health care, the economy and deficit--has fallen, but most remain confident his policies will be positive in the long term. The public supports many of his health care goals but opposes many proposals being debated in Congress.
Most Americans rate the nation's health care as no better than average when compared with health care in other industrialized countries. Conservative Republicans are most likely to give the U.S. system high marks.
A solid majority of Americans continue to approve of Barack Obama’s job performance, although they express mixed views of several of his policies. Only about one-in-five Americans (21%) say the U.S. is less safe from terrorism under the Obama administration than under the Bush administration
While most Americans still turn to a doctor for health information, a growing number research and discuss medical issues on the internet. Fully 61% have gone online for health info -- up from 25% in 2000 -- and most report positive experiences. More adults are turning to the internet for fitness and exercise information as well.
Centrism has emerged as a dominant factor in public opinion as the Obama administration begins. Republicans and Democrats are even more divided than in the past, while the growing political middle is steadfastly mixed in its beliefs about government, the free market and other values that underlie views on contemporary issues and policies. Both political parties have lost adherents since the election and an increasing number of Americans identify as independents.
Unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. are more geographically dispersed than in the past and are more likely than either U.S.-born residents or legal immigrants to live in a household with a spouse and children. But the recent rapid growth in the undocumented immigrant labor force has come to a halt. The new report also includes population and labor force estimates for each state.
While the public still favors government-guaranteed health insurance for all citizens, there is currently less support for rebuilding the system than there was at the beginning of the Clinton administration. Opinion about stem-cell research remains stable after lifting of the ban.
At a time when health care is a major public policy issue, a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Project for Excellence in Journalism examines the extent to which health news has been a part of the national news agenda including coverage of the 2008 presidential primary campaign.