Ready for Change on Jobs and Health Care

Jobs and health care are at the top of the public’s agenda, writes Ruy Teixeira, and they support Obama’s plans for change.

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The incoming Obama administration has some mighty ambitious plans to fix America’s problems. And Americans say they’re OK with that. A just-released Democracy Corps poll found that 66 percent of the public supports Obama’s “policies and goals for the country” as opposed to only 28 percent who do not.

Chart One

One thing the public clearly wants fixed is the job situation. In the latest Gallup poll, just 12 percent said it’s a good time to find a quality job, compared to an astronomical 86 percent who say it is not. The latter is the highest figure Gallup has recorded since they first started asking the question in 2001.

Chart Two

Another key problem is the health care system. Gallup has found that the most important top-of-mind concern for the public for the second straight year is health care access, closely followed by health care costs. This contrasts with the beginning of the decade when specific health care concerns such as cancer and bioterrorism outweighed access and costs. But no more.

Chart Three

The Obama administration has its work cut out for it. But they will start out with a public sense of urgency about the problems that need to be solved and an initial base of support for the policies they propose.

Read more public opinion from Ruy Teixeira.

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Ruy Teixeira

Former Senior Fellow

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