SOCIOLOGY: CAPSTONE PROJECT
Topic: Disparities in healthcare in USA
Problem statement: This paper will examine the difference in health care coverage in underrepresented American households before and after the introduction of healthcare under the Affordable Care Act.
Research Question: Has the introduction of healthcare under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) increased significantly the percentages of minority, and lower- and middle-class households that have health insurance?
Hypothesis 1: The introduction of healthcare under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) increased the percentage of low-income American households with health insurance by 70%.
Hypothesis 2: The introduction of healthcare under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) increased the percentage of in middle class American households with health insurance by 20%.
Hypothesis 3: The introduction of healthcare under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) increased the percentage of ethnic and racial minority households in the United States with health insurance by 20%.
Independent variable tested in the hypotheses is the number of lower class/middle class/minority households with insurance before the introduction of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and a decade after its introduction.
Take into account where the ACA made the most impact and where it made the least.
How to test this: Explain that you will use peer reviewed studies and data from health organizations, etc.
Describe the first social theory you will apply to the results of your study and how it relates to your topic. I will Apply the Conflict theory to the topic
Describe the second social theory you will apply to the results of your study and how it relates to your topic. I will Apply the Interactionism theory to the topic
Is it browsing in the library?
Talking to folks hanging out on a street corner, making a mental note of what they say and how they say it?
A school counselor who routinely inquires, as part of an interview, about a student’s family life?
These are important activities, but sociological research has very specific goals that can only be accomplished through utilizing proper procedures
Is the systematic examination–or reexamination–of empirical data, collected by a scholar or scholars, concerning the social or social psychological forces operating in a social situation being investigated.
It is systematic
Uses empirical data: information based on actual social experiences of human beings
Investigates the social (group) factors that affect human behavior
1. Four important Considerations:
Is it researchable, given methodological limits in two months? Can you obtain the data you need?
Practice parsimony: keep your focus narrow. You are not writing a MA thesis and have two months to complete on a tight schedule.
Credibility of research: is your topic important? Can you be objective and use sociological method?
Are there rival explanations for social phenomena already done that answer your Research Question? Don’t be one-sided.
Can the topic be researched?
Can the scientific method be used to investigate the topic?
Can you obtain the data you need?
Do you have the time, money, facilities, etc. to do the project?
Is it too difficult to do (realistically speaking)?
Keep it simple: more is not better
This is not your life’s work
Keep the topic narrow and focused
Is your topic important?
Can you employ the scientific method and remain objective?
Follow established procedures for describing your results?
Your research should not be one sided: sociological research is replete with alternative explanations for virtually every observable phenomenon
Be certain to consider rival explanations; be prepared to account for such alternative explanations
2. General topic areas
Groups, Organizations, Social Institutions
Status and Roles
Social Construction of Knowledge
Culture, Subcultures, Countercultures
Discover/Describe: Attempt to discover facts or describe reality.
Is divorce on the rise?
Are people in the US fearful they will be killed by terrorists?
Is social media an increasingly important aspect of the millennial generation experience?
2. Predictive Research: predictions about what will occur in the future based on research collected.
most common are actuarial predictions, the kind insurance companies make. E.g., Who is likely to get heart attack, speed while driving, etc.
also, recidivism to prison predictio
Topic: Disparities in healthcare in USA
Writing chapter 3 (Methodology) Everything that needs to be in this chapter is on the PowerPoint. Again, only chapter 3 needed.
chapter three will describe in detail the 3-5 studies you plan to use to test your hypothesis (in chapter four). All you need to do is describe those studies one by one. Please see the sample paper in the Course Resources for the format of chapter three – how to lay out each study you will describe.
When you describe each study, remember to include as much information as possible about:
the setting (location, date, etc.),
who did the experiment (and their credentials) and when,
who were the subjects, where they were from and how they were gathered?
the research question and hypothesis, or was it a poll, etc.,
how the hypothesis was tested,
the dependent variable (results),
and where you think there were any holes in the research and what could have been done better – assuming the researchers had funds and time.
Chapter 3: 8 pages
Chapter III: Methodology
In general, this chapter describes how the data were collected that answer the research question and its component parts. It is important to utilize appropriate methods of data collection in order to be able to support or reject the research hypotheses. This chapter should begin with a description of the research design used in the project.
Chapter III will most likely include the following subsections:
Setting: if important to the research, describe the time and place of data collection.
Description of the Subjects: depending on the type of data used in the project, this subsection can include either subjects involved in primary data collection, or those described in published research studies. If the project involves human subjects, it is necessary to comply with all requirements set by the University’s Institutional Review Board.
As noted in the Course Home, it will be very difficult to complete your research project in a timely manner if your research involves human subjects: first, you will need to spend much more time in developing the means by which you collect and record data; second, you will need IRB approval. While IRB approval is not particularly complicated it can, depending on your research project, be time consuming. Under no circumstances can you start your research if it involves human subjects prior to IRB approval.
If you are using previously published data you will probably need more than one study to be able to support or reject your hypotheses. You will need to discuss this with your instructor, but a good target is at least two or three studies that measure the same phenomenon as your study.
This chapter will have the same subheadings if you use previously published data. In essence, you “inherit” the methodology used by the author(s) of your study/ies. That is, you will still need to describe the setting, the research subjects, the variables, define specific terms (if appropriate), describe
CHAPTER I- INTRODUCTION
This paper will examine the difference in health care coverage in underrepresented American households before and after the introduction of healthcare under the Affordable Care Act. Chapter two will be a literature review; chapter three will describe in detail studies that will later be used to test the hypotheses in chapter four. Then chapter five will describe the results, the conclusion and the recommendation.
Affordable Care Act (A.C.A.) is one of the federal health reforms signed on March 31, 2010, under the administration of former President Barack Obama. A.C.A. was primarily enacted to expand Americans’ access to insurance, put more effort into disease prevention and wellness, improve quality and system performance and reduce health care costs (Blewett et al., 2018). As described in the A.C.A. itself, it aims to extend insured Americans’ health coverage to around 32 million, including those with private and public insurance. Some of the guidelines related to expanding insurance access coverage include ensuring that employers offer insurance coverage to their workers, providing a tax credit to cover specified costs of health insurance of small business employees, and ensuring that individuals have insurance.
Before introducing A.C.A., most Americans were not under any insurance health policy, especially the low-income individuals, since they could not afford the cost of insurance. Various insurance companies used individual’s underwriting to protect a healthy risk pool by ensuring that Americans pay premiums that significantly reflected their medical plans (Grogan, 2017). In 2009, a year before the A.C.A. passage, only about 15% of the American population had health insurance. The introduction of the Act in the subsequent year significantly reduced the rate of uninsured individuals as it lowered to about 9%, indicating that almost 20 million Americans got insurance coverage in the first year of A.C.A. introduction.
More than 31 million people are currently enrolled for health coverage through A.C.A., implying that the Act has significantly reduced the rate of insurance in every state. As of February 2021, about 11 million people enrolled in the A.C.A. Marketplace plans, while about 15 million enrolled in Medicaid through the Act’s expansion of eligibility to adults by December 2020 (Kavanagh et al., 2021). Therefore, A.C.A. has benefited individuals from low-class and middle class and ethnic and minority households.
The introduction of A.C.A. has significantly affected disparities in health insurance coverage among different racial and ethnic groups. Based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s nationally representative American Community Survey, the increase in the rate of nonelderly adults enrolling for insurance coverage, which increased from 12.3% in 2013 to about 40% in 2017, led to a significant reduction in rac
CHAPTER II-LITERATURE REVIEW
Generally, the U.S health care system is unique considering all the advanced industrialized countries because it does not have a uniform health care coverage for all its population (Williams, 2017). However, it recently enacted legislation that mandates health care coverage for almost everyone regardless of gender or ethnicity. Joseph & Marrow (2017) suggests that high cost is the primary reason that leads to challenges that Americans face in accessing health care. In 2013, about 31 percent of the uninsured adults reported facing challenges like delayed medical care while accessing health care services (Williams, 2017). The paper provides a literature review by examining the disparities in health care in the U.S.
Disparities in healthcare in the U.S
Health care disparity is socially constructed, and it results in tangible effects on the health status of individuals. Health care disparity is differences in the healthcare coverage, access to, and quality care that various groups receive. Wheeler & Bryant (2017) mentioned that racial and ethnic disparities are arguably the most form of inequalities in the U.S health care system. However, they become the most silent factors while examining health inequity. The report released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reveals that racial and ethnic minorities, especially blacks, are more likely to receive a low valued medical care which leads to increasingly poor health outcomes among the population (Dickman et al., 2017). Over the years, efforts have been made to eliminate various disparities in health care to achieve health equity
Root causes of Disparities in Health Care
According to Kelley et al. (2015), health disparities often result from system conflict, inadequate resources, and the distribution of the resources. The American government is responsible for ensuring control of the distribution of health services and resources to various individuals in need. For instance, the government should ensure that people living in extreme poverty are provided with medical care at a low cost (Travers et al., 2017). However, the government may not offer the required resources to every person in need due to the increased population. As such, some patients may not be in a position to receive the care that they require. Notably, these individuals tend to be from poverty-stricken regions because they cannot afford the required cost.
Grubbs (2019) defines poverty as a state in which individuals lack the socially acceptable material possession such as income and productive resources that promote sustainable livelihood. Based on a 2018 report, more than 41 million Americans live in poverty (Grubbs, 2019). Regarding the information, the individuals experience detrimental health impacts due to their socioeconomic status and environmental conditions (Sanyal et al., 2010). As a result, the persons experience various health conditio
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