Political Awareness and Public Opinion on Health Care Reform
Kanojia, Anjali H 1978-
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Political Science literature shows that the two major political parties have continued to polarize over time in the United States. Parties and elites continue to shape, frame and even manipulate public opinion, especially on contentious policy issues such as health care reform. Political information from elite discourse is often partisan in nature, which shapes citizens’ attitudes toward policy issues. Citizens who are politically aware process political information differently compared to those who are not politically aware. Political ideology, political partisanship and political awareness all affect mass public opinion on health care policy and the role of government versus the private sector provision of health care services. This dissertation examines the characteristics of those who are most affected by the partisan discourse on health care reform, especially provision of health care insurance. It is expected that citizens who are self-identified Republicans and politically conservative individuals will express greater opposition towards the government health insurance plan, and self-identified Democrats and politically liberal individuals will express greater opposition to a private health insurance plan and support for a government health care plan.