Statewide Poll Shows Tennesseans Favor Medicaid Expansion

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

By a margin of 24 percent, Tennesseans surveyed earlier this month said Tennessee should expand its Medicaid program to reduce the number of uninsured individuals in the state, officials said.

At a news conference Tuesday, the Tennessee Hospital Association released findings of a statewide survey of insured registered voters. The findings show 59 percent believe Tennessee should accept the federal dollars for expanding Medicaid coverage in the state. Conversely, 35 percent feel the state should not expand the program. Such expansion would be made possible through the Affordable Care Act, officials said.

The survey was commissioned by THA, funded by the American Hospital Association and was conducted by Alexandria, VA-based Public Opinion Strategies. The poll shows "a majority of registered voters in every age group 18 and older who were surveyed believe the state should accept the funds and help offset more than $5.6 billion in ACA Medicare cuts facing Tennessee hospitals." Tennessee would join more than 20 states which have already opted-in to expand Medicaid under the ACA. 

“The mandate is clear and decisive,” said THA President Craig A. Becker in making the announcement on the stage of Tennessee’s War Memorial Auditorium Tuesday. “Tennesseans believe accepting the funds and expanding the Medicaid population in the state would mean critical resources for our rural hospitals that are financially struggling and will be crippled by the cuts that already are law.”

The survey sample of 600 registered voters with health coverage that included an oversample of rural voters was made up of 45 percent Republican voters, 37 percent Democratic voters and 14 percent Independents.   

The telephone poll asked respondents to agree or disagree with a number of arguments raised in public debate on the issue and found: 

·     67 percent believed accepting the funds would mean critical money for Tennessee hospitals that are financially struggling today. 

·     62 percent believed the federal government would meet its commitment to pay 100 percent of the cost for the first three years and 90 percent or more in subsequent years.

·     59 percent agreed it is a good deal for Tennessee taxpayers when the federal government would pay nine dollars for every dollar the state spends to expand needed health coverage.

·     55 percent agreed the state’s acceptance of the funds would help control the cost that people with private health insurance pay for health care as hospitals now would be paid for the care they are providing free to the eligible population. 

·     65 percent concurred that since most other states are accepting the federal government’s funds, the state should make sure Tennessee’s hardworking taxpayers see their money being spent here to provide health coverage and strengthen community hospitals rather than having their tax dollars spent in other states that have opted into the plan. 

The study had a statistical confidence level of 95 percent with a margin of error slightly less than plus or minus five percent.

Public Opinion Strategies specializes in corporate and public policy research and has completed more than 14,000 research projects over the past 22 years interviewing more than six million Americans in all 50 states. The firm has completed 293 research projects in Tennessee and has experience on healthcare issues having worked with the American Hospital Association since 1996. 

Tennessee Hospital Association promotes and represents the interests of health careers, hospitals and health systems. Established in 1938 as a not-for-profit membership association, THA serves as an advocate for hospitals, health systems and other healthcare organizations and the patients they serve. It also provides education and information for its members, and informs the public about hospitals and healthcare issues at the state and national levels. Additional information is available at www.tha.com.

 

Help Offered For Tennesseans Suffering From Seasonal Affective Disorder

Based on national estimates, thousands of Tennesseans struggle through the cold and dreary winter season with feelings of prolonged sadness. For an estimated 4 to 6 percent of the population, winter brings about periods of fatigue and in some cases anxiety known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or (SAD).   The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services ... (click for more)

Warren Jasper Named Brigadier General Wendell H. Gilbert Tennessee State Veterans Home Administrator

Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and Tennessee State Veterans Home Executive Director Ed Harries announced that Warren Anthony Jasper will be the Brigadier General Wendell H. Gilbert Tennessee State Veterans Home Administrator.  The 108-bed State Veterans Home is currently under construction in Clarksville.    Mr. ... (click for more)

Erlanger To Proceed With Manager Bonuses In 2 Steps; Considering Employee Performance Incentive Plan

Erlanger President and CEO Kevin Spiegel said Wednesday night that the hospital plans to proceed with $1.7 million in manager bonuses in two steps. Current participants in the incentive program will receive 50 percent of the approved 2014 performance plan this month. The remaining 50 percent will be paid to the management group in July 2015. At the same time, Mr. Spiegel ... (click for more)

Caldwell Arrested In Rapes Of 2 Women Over 60 In Brainerd, Hixson

Investigators have made an arrest in the rape cases that were reported last weekend. Taken into custody was Derrick Dewayne Caldwell, 30. He is charged with two counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated burglary. Police said two women over 60 years old were raped in Brainerd and in Hixson in separate incidents. (click for more)

A Letter To The NAACP

I believe when a "unarmed" man is evil, he will try to beat a police officer on his head in hopes to knock him out, in hopes to kill him. We saw the bruises on the officer's face.  This evil force tried to take his gun away from him , Proof was in the autopsy.  Why did Michael Brown  try to take his gun away from him? Exactly, to kill the officer.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Last Day Of School

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This story first appeared in the Chattanooga News-Free Press in the early 1980s and every year since then I have been asked repeatedly about it. It is easily the most famous story I have ever written – copies have been sent to me from numerous foreign countries -- and it may be the easiest story I ever wrote. All I did was write what the noted religious psychologist ... (click for more)