Historical social problems serve as an experiment to us today, providing us with sound evidence in dealing with current social problems. Today, social problems are heavily influenced by the policies involved and require the conduction of research. One such example to illustrate the importance of research in social problems would be the Affordable Care Act implemented by the Obama administration.
Previous health care acts in history often failed, such as Roosevelt’s attempts in providing legislation to include publicly funded health care programs (Derickson, 2005). The American Medical Association thwarted his attempts to instill this legislation, much like it did during the progressivism era in the early 1900s, as the AMA warned of the dangers of “socialized medicine” (Sultz & Young, 2011). For the general public, this instilled a feeling of opposition to such programs , making Obamacare legendary as one of the first drastic reforms to healthcare that was, initially, celebrated by much of the American population. The changing demographics, along with the changing sentiments in the general public, provide a plethora of issues to research as to why this healthcare reform was accepted, and also as to why it gained so much support early on in Obama’s presidential campaign.
To study this issue, several research methods can be employed. Sampling, involving taking a representative sample from a population to gather information about the demographics and views of the sample population, would help to investigate who is affected by Obamacare, and to what extent. Additionally, survey research would be advantageous in gathering information on healthcare reform. Questionnaires are commonly employed in survey research, and help to provide specific, predetermined questions to particular demographics and populations. However, the reliability and validity of such self-report methods can present challenges. To counteract possible challenges, a high volume of questionnaires and other survey styles should be distributed to promote consistency for making more accurate inferences.
In summary, governmental health care acts and reforms are a major social issue that continues to necessitate social research. Though we have specific examples in history to learn from and generate hypotheses from, social research is essential for better understanding the populations that healthcare reforms most affect, and also provides possible solutions to better shape policies, as well as to how to implement them more effectively.
- Derickson, Alan (2005). Health security for all: dreams of universal health care in America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Sultz, Harry A.; Young, Kristina M. (2011). Health care USA: understanding its organization and delivery (7th ed.). Sudbury, Mass.: Jones & Bartlett Learning. pp. 35–37, 230–232.