As part of our public administration class, we were required to analyze a research article published in the media. In my analysis, I focused on Is the Affordable Care Act, Working? The article was published in the New York Times on October 26, 2014 (Sanger 1). As such, the article analyzes the progress of the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act is a bill passed into law by U.S. President Barrack Obama in the year 2010. The act is normally referred to as Obamacare. The act symbolizes the most important government development and regulatory revamp in the U.S. healthcare system for the last 50 years. The act mandates all insurance companies to provide medical insurance cover to all claimants regardless of their social background, sex, race, or ethnicity.
In the article, the author argues that the chief aim of the act is to enhance a near-universal healthcare coverage (Sanger 1). By the time the government stopped its heavy-handed managed care in the 1990s, the cost of health care services had risen sharply as the number of uninsured individuals increased. Before the passage of the act in the year 2010, the number of uninsured individuals was estimated to be more than 46 million. The author asserts that the act has achieved enormous success by reducing the number of uninsured individuals to 11 million. Within the next few years, the act will reduce the number of Americans without access to quality and affordable health care insurance services. Through this approach, almost every employee would be covered by the health insurance scheme.
The article argues that the act has made medical insurance affordable to most Americans (Sanger 1). Before its implementation, the expected effects of the affordable health act on premiums generated heated debates in America. Others argued that the act would increase premiums. On the other hand, some individuals argued that full implementation premiums would reduce significantly. The article indicates that the law has led to a reduction in premiums as more insurance companies have joined the industry increasing competition.
Similarly, the article indicates that the affordable act has improved health outcomes (Sanger 1). Although the author warns that it is too early to speculate on the outcomes of the act, she indicates that so far it has enhanced the quality, value, and accessibility of healthcare services. Equally, the article indicates that the healthcare sector has not been negatively affected by the passage of the act.
Academic or applied research
The research conducted in the article is applied research. As such, the article is categorized as applied research because it bases its findings on existing researches. Just like other applied researches, the article seeks to address a real-world problem. The problem sought to be addressed in the article is the progress attained by the Affordable Care Act. Also, the article is categorized as applied research because it utilizes practical methodologies. Being applied research, the article is void of stern research procedures exhibited in academic researches.
Is the research quantitative or qualitative research or a combination? Does the choice make sense given the situation?
The study illustrated in the article combines both quantitative and qualitative research methods. The article is categorized as qualitative research because it tries to gain an understanding of the progress of the Affordable Care Act. In the article, the researches try to offer more insight into the challenges facing the Affordable Care Act. By doing so, the research tries to reveal trends in thoughts and views about the Affordable Care Act. The article is also categorized as quantitative research because it tries to quantify the progress of the Affordable Care act by offering numerical analyses to substantiate the author’s claims. The data offered in the article try to quantify outlooks, sentiments, and behaviors exhibited by Americans towards the Affordable Care Act. Notably, the article utilizes quantifiable data to express evidence and expose patterns utilized by the author in the research.
The author’s choices of coming up with both quantitative and qualitative types of research make sense. Through this approach, the author can provide all the necessary information to back up her claims. By doing so, she enhanced the authority of her article.
Who are the likely stakeholders/ audience in the study?
The author wrote the article to inform her audience about the gains generated by Obamacare in the last one year. Most Americans have benefitted from the positive impacts of the Affordable Care Act (Allhoff 23). Aware that Obamacare has been beneficial, the author wrote this article to affirm that the act has mainly been successful in delivering on President Obama’s key pledges. Based on the above arguments, it is apparent that the article’s main audience comprises of healthcare stakeholders, government officials, insurance firms, and the American citizens.
The article provides the healthcare stakeholders and government officials with information about the progress of the act. It offers insight into the measures Obama’s administration should undertake as it continues with the implementation of the act. Similarly, the report offers the health stakeholders and government officials with insight about how they should answer several questions concerning the myths that have been generated by the media and the employers on the effects of this plan (Johnson 25). Some employees have the wrong impression of the effects of this plan. Thus, the government should sensitize the public on the possible effects of this act.
Research questions asked
As indicated in the article, the research attempts to identify the progress made by the Affordable Care Act. Through this, the research paper attempts to answer several sub-questions, which explores the topic from a narrower perspective. Below are the research questions indicated in the article?
- Is insurance rationally priced under the act?
- Has the percentage of uninsured individuals reduced?
- Did the act enhance health outcomes?
- Will the online exchanges work better this year than last?
- Has the health care industry been improved or upset with the law?
- How has the development of Medicaid fared?
- Has the law added to a go-slow in health care spending?
Based on the above research questions, it is apparent that descriptive questions were asked. The questions sought to describe the variables being investigated in the study.
Are the results believable?
The results presented in the article are believable. Apart from offering descriptions about the success of the Affordable Care act, the author offers numeral figures to substantiate her claims. As such, the figures and tables presented in the article are from reliable sources. Based on this, it can be argued that the findings in the research are factual.
Allhoff, Fritz. The Affordable Care Act Decision Philosophical and Legal Implications. New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis, 2014. Print.
Johnson, Gail. Research Methods for Public Administrators. 3rd ed. Westport, CT: Quorum, 2014. Print.
Sanger, Margot. Is the Affordable Care Act Working?, Web.