Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Usui, Wayne M.


Medical care, Cost of--Research--United States; Poor-- Medical care--United States


This thesis uses data from the 2002 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey in a quantitative examination of the capacity of the labor market in the United States to provide employment to the poor which enables them to afford health care. The out-of-pocket health care expenditures of the working poor are compared to those of the non-working poor to see which group has the lower financial burden due to health care expenditures. Both bivariate and multivariate statistics are used, and show that employment lowers the financial burden of out-of-pocket health care expenditures for the poor. However, evidence is presented that shows this reduced burden may come at the cost of reduced health insurance coverage and reduced access to health care.