Trump or Bust: How Political Identification Impacts Opinions on Health Reform

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Considerable research has been conducted on the development of one’s political ideology and its impact on opinions regarding policy. This study contributes to this body of research by studying factors which influence the formation of opinions on health care policy, through a framework of social and behavioral theories. The theories of political socialization, behavior and heuristics, motivated reasoning, and social identity were used as a foundation to examine this relationship. A logistic regression was conducted on the 2016 and 2020 American National Election Study (ANES) datasets to measure the effects of political identification on opinions of health care policy. Statistically significant results from the analysis support the original hypothesis—an expected direct, positive relationship between same-party political identification and health care approval—suggesting that approval for health policy is heavily politically aligned. Despite negligible changes in health policy between the two presidencies, cumulative approval ratings of same-party respondents were overwhelming in both cases.
Affordable Care Act (ACA), healthcare, politics, ideology, Social Identity Theory