Political Science ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-15-2020


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) cemented itself as one of the most controversial pieces of legislation of the decade. Public opinion polls find Americans are often evenly split in support of the ACA. This dissertation explores the roles of self-interest, group identity, and racial resentment on attitudes toward the ACA and healthcare reform. The dissertation centers our attention on variation by race and the impact racial tensions beyond the Black-White paradigm on these attitudes. I find group identity shapes attitudes Blacks’ and Latinos’ attitudes toward the ACA but not Whites’ and racial resentment, directed toward Blacks, Latinos and Immigrants, plays a strong role when people evaluate the ACA but not when they consider healthcare reform broadly. The landscape of healthcare reform is constantly shifting. Having an accurate pulse on attitudes toward healthcare reform is essential to ensuring the system is responding to citizens needs and expectations.

Degree Name

Political Science

Level of Degree


Department Name

Political Science

First Committee Member (Chair)

Gabriel R. Sanchez

Second Committee Member

Michael Rocca

Third Committee Member

Jessica Feezell

Fourth Committee Member

Francisco Pedraza




Affordable Care Act, Healthcare Reform, Public Opinion, Racial Resentment, Linked Fate, Cross-Racial Linked Fate

Document Type