Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Advisor/Committee Chair

Pinka Chatterji, Ph.D.


In 2010, the Obama administration passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) commonly known as Obamacare. However, it is in 2014 that several key parts of the ACA went into effect. Among those key parts is the Medicaid expansion program. States that chose to adopt the policy, expanded Medicaid access to everyone under 138 percent of the federal poverty line. This extension had the largest impact on childless adults who previously were not covered by the program. Moreover, ACA made it mandatory for all health plans (private and public) to include the ten essential health benefits in their most basic packages. One of the 10 essential benefits is preventive care that includes cancers’ screenings. Consequently, screenings became more affordable and accessible for millions of individuals across the country. Using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), I estimated the impact of the ACA policy changes to make breast and cervical cancer screenings more available. My results were not significant enough to draw any conclusions. It is likely that the limitations I encounter with my data sample (breast and cervical cancer screenings questions were only available for even years in the BRFSS Database), reduced my ability to analyze any significant trends. However, I found out that having an insurance and a health care provider was highly correlated with the respondents following cancer screenings guidelines (every three years for pap smear and every two years for mammograms).