Date of Award

12-1-2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Etcheverry, Paul

Abstract

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), passed on March 23rd, 2010, contains widesweeping legislation aimed at reforming the current U.S. healthcare system. The ACA has been lauded by its proponents and deeply criticized by its opponents. The current paper included two experimental studies designed to test if the individual insurance mandate requirement is a specific source of the psychological and behavioral resistance displayed toward the ACA. In study 1 the individual insurance mandate requirement did not produce greater negative attitudes towards the ACA or the current Presidential administration and it did not predict attitudes towards the longevity of the ACA. Democrats were found to have significantly less negative attitudes towards the ACA and towards the longevity of the ACA and Democrats also reported a lower likelihood of the ACA being repealed in comparison to Independents, Republicans or Libertarians. In study 2, the non-significant individual insurance mandate findings from study 1, were replicated in study 2. However, Democrats again were found to have significantly less negative attitudes towards the ACA and towards the longevity of the ACA in comparison to Independents, Republicans and those with no political affiliation. Democrats also indicated that they were less likely to vote for a political candidate who supports the repeal of the ACA in comparison to Independents, Republicans and those with no political affiliation. Implications and future research directions are discussed.

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