In a period of great political divisiveness, Tennessee adults are fairly united around one topic—the need for government action to address healthcare issues, especially healthcare affordability.
A survey of more than 900 Tennessee adults, conducted from March 26, 2021, to April 9, 2021, revealed that Tennessee residents see the government as the key stakeholder that needs to act to address health system problems. Moreover, addressing healthcare problems is just as important as the economy/joblessness in terms of issues that Tennessee residents want elected officials to work on.
Survey respondents were asked to rank the top three issues the government should address in the upcoming year. Healthcare and the economy/joblessness were the most frequently cited issues, with 56% of respondents selecting it as a top three issue (see Table 1), exceeding seven other options.
When asked specifically about their healthcare priorities, almost half (49%) of respondents selected addressing high healthcare costs, including prescription drug costs, as one of their top 3 issues. The next most frequently selected issue (preserving consumer protections) was selected by 34% of respondents (see Table 2).
Moreover, support for government action was high, regardless of respondents’ political affiliation (see Table 3), and spanned a broad range of solutions.
Tennessee policymakers should not ignore this clear call for action by state residents. The high burden of healthcare affordability and high levels of support for change suggest that elected leaders and other stakeholders need to make addressing healthcare affordability a top priority.
For survey methodology and full report, please see Tennessee Residents Struggle to Afford High Healthcare Costs; COVID Fears Add to Support for a Range of Government Solutions Across Party Lines, Healthcare Value Hub, Data Brief No. 94 (June 2021). HealthcareValueHub.org/tennessee-state-survey