Date of Award:

8-2021

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology

Committee Chair(s)

Guadalupe Marquez-Velarde

Committee

Guadalupe Marquez-Velarde

Committee

Gabriele Ciciurkaite

Committee

Sojung Lim

Abstract

This research aims to improve our understanding about the association between precarious employment and healthcare access. Using the framework of neoliberalism and the history of welfare reform in the United States, this thesis investigates the relationship between precarious labor and two outcomes associated with health insurance access, namely Medicaid utilization, and being uninsured. I also examine one potential consequence of Medicaid utilization and lack of insurance, having a usual place of health care in the context of the Intermountain West region of the United States.

Using new survey data and quantitative methodologies, this research shows how economic changes, particularly related to labor, impacts healthcare access. The results show that changes in the labor economy are impacting citizens in important ways, including limiting their access to health care. This research is important for understanding how the political economy is changing in the United States and is re-shaping health care access, or the lack thereof, among workers with non-traditional employment arrangements.

Having a better understanding of how neoliberal policies are impacting healthcare access is beneficial for informing policy makers of the the negative consequences of those policies. It also increases our understanding of the direction the political economy is heading in terms of labor and healthcare. This research was made possible through the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station which funded ongoing research in the Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology of Utah State University and did not require additional funding to be completed.

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