Two hours before pitching his Insure Tennessee plan to the legislature, Gov. Bill Haslam's administration unveiled polls showing 60 percent of registered Republican voters support his plan.
After simulating legislative arguments for and against Insure Tennessee, Virginia-based North Star Opinion Research found 60 percent of the polled participants said they supported the plan, 24 percent opposed it and 16 percent were undecided.
Before providing the arguments, however, 44 percent of Republican voters supported Insure Tennessee, 16 percent opposed it and 40 percent were undecided, according to the survey results. The query was conducted Jan. 21 through 26 with 600 voters statewide and an oversample to reach 400 total Republicans.
The polls also showed that 53 percent of registered Republican voters said they would be more likely to re-elect a candidate that supported Gov. Haslam's plan.
The report issued by North Star, a firm commonly used by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, advised Haslam's administration to clearly separate his plan from Pres. Barack Obama and Obamacare, which had notably less support at only 9 percent.
"Republicans not only like Gov. Haslam, they trust him and his judgement. Consequently, his name and the plan should be constantly linked: Governor Haslam's Insure Tennessee plan," the report recommended.
Despite the polls showing voter support, many lawmakers are skeptical of Insure Tennessee, particularly whether the state can cut off Medicaid coverage for the newly insured after the pilot program ends.
The Senate side has three committees for the governor's Insure Tennessee legislation to pass through. In order: Select Committee on Commerce, Select Committee on Health and Welfare then Finance, Ways and Means Committee. Each member sits on one committee. Here's the roster.
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