Insure Tennessee, a two-year pilot program proposed by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam in 2014, has been in the public spotlight lately.
The legislation would provide health care coverage to more than 200,000 low-income Tennesseans who currently are not eligible for subsidies to insurance premiums and do not have access to health care, like the Affordable Care Act, due to cost (those earning above the subsidy threshold can spend up to 20 percent of their income on insurance premiums).
According to a new icitizen poll, Insure Tennessee is widely supported by registered voters statewide. In all, nearly eight in ten (78%) support the legislation, including 43% who support the legislation “strongly.” This is compared to just 22% who oppose the legislation (eight percent oppose “strongly”). Eight in ten women and three-fourths of men support the bill.
“This poll underscores the depth of support for the bill among Tennesseans,” said icitizen Vice President, Head of Polling of Dr. Mark Keida said. “It is not surprising to see this reflected in the professional community, too. There is widespread support from liberal, conservative and business groups, including the Tennessee Hospital Association, the Tennessee Business Coalition and the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce.”
Insure Tennessee sees widespread support across political, ideological and geographic lines in the state. Majorities of Democrats (96%), Independents (76%) and Republicans (68%) support Insure Tennessee, as do those earning less than $50,000 per year (82%) and across the state (East, 81%; Middle, 78%; West, 75%).
A majority still supported Insure Tennessee even after they were exposed to messages supporting and opposing the bill. Among supporters of Insure Tennessee, 30% say they would be less likely to support the bill after hearing it would expand “Obamacare” and that all of the costs would be paid by the federal government and local hospitals (39% say they would be “more likely” to support it, and 31% say it “makes no difference”).
This is compared to 68% of opponents who say they would be even less likely to support the bill after hearing this information (6% say “more likely” to support and 26% say “no difference”). Even if the 30% of Insure Tennessee supporters switched to opposing the bill, and no opponents changed position – an extreme case – a 55% majority of Tennessee voters would still support passing Insure Tennessee.
icitizen conducted a survey of 513 registered Tennessee voters, age 18 and older. The survey was conducted from April 1-4, 2016. Data were balanced by age, gender and region to reflect the composition of registered voters in Tennessee. The survey was conducted online among icitizen users and supplemented with an opt-in online sample. The margin of error for the full sample is +/- 4.3, and higher for subgroups. For more information on this poll and methodology, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.