The Affordable Care Act: a prescription for homeland security preparedness?
Petersen, Kimberly Ann
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Prior to implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), tens of millions of U.S. citizens were without health insurance coverage. Without health insurance, health care can be unaffordable or inaccessible, or both. Our ability to obtain health care is part of the homeland security preparedness puzzle. If the Affordable Care Act increases health insurance coverage and helps to control costs as promised, it has enormous potential to bolster homeland security simultaneously. This thesis asks, How will the implementation of the Affordable Care Act positively impact homeland security in its efforts to achieve its all-hazards preparedness goal? This thesis first draws the links between health insurance coverage, health care and homeland security. Using empirical evidence and deductive analysis, it then forward-maps the positive impacts ACA implementation is likely have on homeland security in the areas of health and economic security. Recommendations aimed at enhancing the positive effects of the ACA are provided, including expanding ACA access and benefits to immigrants, better educating the public on the ACA tax penalty, and utilizing grants to encourage state participation.
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