Nearly half of Tennesseans thought the Affordable Care Act should be repealed as Donald Trump was elected President last November. But Vanderbilt's latest statewide polling finds that number has dropped closer to a third, and hopes for a Republican alternative have also withered over the last year.
"In the abstract, any policy change sounds great," said Joshua Clinton, co-director of the Vanderbilt Poll. "But once that sausage starts being made, then people see it's not exactly ponies and rainbows like everything was promised. So then things become a little more complicated because policy is complicated."
The Vanderbilt Poll has been asking Tennesseans about the future of the health care system over time. And there's a clear increase in support for repeal and replace as Trump campaigned for the presidency, promising to do just that as a first order of business. By May of this year, support had already dropped and continued to fall in the latest scientific polling of around 1,000 Tennesseans with a 3.7 percent margin of error.
"I think there is this kind of change by 15 percent since November that has kind of affected public opinion on the issue and more support for the status quo or various alternatives that would be more expansive rather than less," Clinton said.
Support for universal health coverage through a single-payer government insurer — like making Medicare open to all — has increased from 16 percent last November to 25 percent of Tennesseans today.
Protecting Rural Hospitals
Tennesseans say they are concerned about the recent closures of rural hospitals — the state has experienced more closures than any other state but Texas. Eighty-five percent told pollsters they were concerned. And more voters indicated that they believe the state should come to the rescue of hospitals rather than the federal government.
There also appears to be wide bi-partisan agreement that the opioid crisis is a major problem or even an emergency. And support for legalized marijuana continues to inch up, though still shy of 50 percent.
Review all of the results here.