This thesis seeks to investigate the 2014 Medicaid expansion’s effect on maternal mortality rates for New York and California. The CDC reported in 2019 that maternal mortality rates have been increasing. These findings are concerning for mothers and are a problem for developed nations like the United States with improved healthcare. Furthermore, women of color are disproportionately affected relative to white women. Previous research has indicated that healthcare expansions positively affect decreasing death rates among pregnant women.

In this study, I investigate how increased access to healthcare through the 2014 Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act affects maternal mortality for New York and California. I utilize the publicly available CDC Wonder Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2020 data to conduct my research for this analysis. For my analysis, I chose to observe the years 2006-2016. I plotted each state’s mortality rates by year to observe any visual trends or changes in reported data and then after ran regressions of each race on deaths. The results exhibited that women of color tend to experience higher maternal mortality ratios. When observing how deaths have changed post-expansion, the coefficients were not statically significant to a degree that would allow me to make confident conclusions that mortality rates had improved. This study contributes to the literature that women of color are more likely to suffer worse maternal health outcomes than white women. It brings to light the importance of attaining a solution to this issue.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair

Guldi, Melanie


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Business Administration



Degree Program




Access Status

Open Access

Release Date


Restricted to the UCF community until 5-1-2022; it will then be open access.