Government dysfunction, health care top Americans' worries

Political wrangling over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, apologies from President Obama and his camp, broken promises about insurance plans, and exchange website woes — those have been have been issues filling out the evening news over the last couple months.

And the public isn't happy about it.

Americans say the country’s two biggest problems revolve around all those issues. According to Gallup, the public says the No. 1 problem in the United States is government dysfunction (26 percent), followed closely by a poor health care system (19 percent).

In the last two months, the concern over the country's poor/high cost of health care nearly doubled since September and has jumped ahead of previously cited problems including the economy, the federal budget and unemployment/jobs.

The mention of health care as the biggest U.S. problem is higher now than in any month since PPACA become law in March 2010.

“This suggests that recent troubles with the federal health exchange website and other problems with the healthcare law’s rollout, including accusations that President Barack Obama misled Americans about keeping their current coverage, may be fueling public concern,” Gallup researchers said.

Public concern over government dysfunction is in line with Obama’s approval rating, now at a personal low. A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday shows 54 percent of Americans disapprove of the job President Obama is doing, while 39 percent approve, his lowest numbers since taking office.

Gallup’s results also mark the first time since 2007 that non-economic issues have occupied the top two spots on Americans’ list of most important problems.

On Thursday, Obama apologized for the issues plaguing his health care overhaul and announced changes to PPACA to give insurance companies the option to keep offering consumers plans that would otherwise be canceled.

Meanwhile, Gallup also found that PPACA support also took a big hit this month. Support for PPACA has dropped to 40 percent, while 55 percent say they disapprove of the law.

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