As the day of reckoning for health care reform approaches, Americans have little to cheer about. Nearly everyone (92%) gives the national economy a negative rating. Closer to home, 85% say that jobs are hard to find in their community. A majority (54%) now says that someone in their household has been without a job or looking for work in the past year, compared with 39% in February 2009. And the proportion saying they got a pay raise or a better job in the past year fell from 41% in January 2008 to 24% currently.
Public gloom about the economy and personal finances extends to opinions about the future of health care costs. Regardless of what happens with the health care bills this week, Americans expect their own health care costs to rise in the coming years. While 51% say their health care costs would increase if the proposed legislation becomes law, even more (63%) believe their health care costs will increase if no changes are made to the health care system.
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted March 10-14 among 1,500 adults, finds that public views of the health care bills before Congress remain more negative than positive – 48% generally oppose the bills before Congress while 38% favor them. But just 18% of Americans would prefer Congress pass nothing and leave the current system as it is.
Read the full report Gloomy Americans Bash Congress, Are Divided on Obama on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.