Affordable Health Care Act Hurting The Middle Class Or Helping The Low And Middle Class

Background
The Affordable Care Act refers to an Act that became signed into law in
March 2010 (Davidson & Stavich, 2011). It is a health care law, which
aims at enhancing the health care system of Americans by by broadening
the health coverage and protecting the existing policy holders of health
insurance. Different people have varied opinions concerning the
Affordable Care Act based on its implication and benefits to them.
Although the Act is viewed to benefit the poor group by offering them a
health care plan that they could otherwise not access, it leaves various
issues unsolved. For example, some of the issues with the Act are that,
doctors lack incentive to specialize, insurance companies have issues
concerning the implementation of new stipulations, and the middle income
earners feel that they have the burden of paying for the poor groups
(Feldman et al, 2010). This research will offer information regarding
how people feel concerning the Affordable Care Act especially the
middle income earners. Since middle income earners face a problem of
declining incomes as the price of basic commodities is increasing, this
research will aim at finding out whether increasing the wages of the
middle and low class individuals, that already have insurance, will
contribute towards them going up. Key issues facing the middle income
earners in the United States with regard to the Affordable Care Act will
be discussed.
In conducting this research, the population segment under study is the
insured middle income earners. These constitute of those individuals
residing both in the rural areas and small town centers. The population
segment provides workforce in varied sectors of the economy, which
implies that all sectors of the economy are put into consideration. One
of the major social issues that the middle income earners are facing
entails the declining income while most of the basic products have an
increasing trend in price for instance, education, housing, insurance
and energy. This implies that the middle income earners have a social
problem of affording most of the basic products due to the increasing
price of the products. Affording health is a key social problem facing
the middle income earners as they are not capable of paying for their
insurance this makes them be against the Affordable Care Act. The
following data depict the declining income for the middle income
earners, and the increasing cost data on different basic products.
The percentage of income distribution in the middle income earners is
showing a decreasing trend, which implies that their income is also
declining within the period given.
Source: HYPERLINK
“http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html”
http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html
The graph shows that the price of housing has been increasing over the
years. This just one of the basic commodities that a middle income
earner would require to keep life moving. With the decline in the income
earned, it emerges that most middle income earners have issues affording
basic commodities such as health.
Apart from the middle income earners having a declining income, they
also have another problem, which is income inequality. Different
individuals in the middle class have varied earnings as indicated in the
graph below because of the difference in incomes, different individuals
have varied purchasing power, when it comes to the buying of the basic
commodities (Tilly, 1991).
Source: HYPERLINK “http://inequality.org/income-inequality/”
http://inequality.org/income-inequality/
One of the social factors that contributes to the problem of decreasing
income to the middle income earners constitute the increasing number of
dependents. The size of families is increasing and has increased in the
past few years, but the income level has not changed over the ears. The
increasing number of dependants seeks job opportunities in the varied
sectors, where the other family members are employed leading to
overcrowding in the workplace. However, because everyone has to earn
wages, there is a decline in whatever the families used to earn before.
Since the wage does not match with the family size, affordability of
health care becomes a problem. Besides, because of the higher proportion
of individuals desiring to provide the labor, the wage rate declines
leading to a declining earning over the years. On the other hand, wage
inequality is caused by the level of education that exist between
individuals. Individuals that are more literate receive a higher pay
than those without education (George et al, 2006). In addition,
experience constitutes another factor that influences the difference in
the incomes individuals with a lot of experience are likely to earn
more than those with less or no experience.
Other than the social factors, cultural factors also contribute to the
income inequalities between individuals. Based on the beliefs of some
individuals, there exist differences in the type of work that one can
do for example, Muslims and Christians have different beliefs
concerning the place of work. While a Christian can work confidently in
a slaughter house selling bacon and cheese, it is exceedingly difficult
for a Muslim to work in such an environment. Therefore, based on the
beliefs, there will be inequality in incomes between individuals.
Besides, the working habit of individuals determines the income earned.
In addition, how one perceives a certain type of work also influences
his earnings, which imply that different people will tend to choose
between different jobs based on their perception towards the job. This
creates income differences because different jobs attract different
incomes. Because of wage inequality, the middle income earners have a
problem in affording health.
The political aspect regarding the issue of affordability of health
insurance is that politicians have an influence on the decision made
concerning laws made by the government. This implies that, politicians
can influence people to vote for the Affordable Care Act regardless of
its impact on the middle income earners. After the passing of the
Affordable Care Act, the politicians also have a mandate in ensuring
that the Act is implemented. This implies that politicians will be
against anyone opposing the Affordable Care Act since they influence the
manner in which the Act becomes fully implemented as a law. Besides, the
Affordable Care Act can become politicized such that the middle income
earners bear all the cost of covering the health cost. For instance,
politicians may fail to allocate funds on the health policy, which will
shift the total burden to the middle income earners because the funds
for the poor should be paid by the government, while the upper class
does not need to pay for the health care since they can afford expensive
health care (Hofer et al, 2011). Thus, failure of the government to
chuck in resources for the care will imply that the middle income
earners will pay for the health care alone since they are the major tax
payers. On the economic aspect, the middle income earners will not have
the capacity to afford the insurance cover because the price of other
basic goods is on the rise because of inflation house rent is also high
for those middle income earners residing in small town centers. The
increasing cost of rent and basic goods will make it difficult for the
middle income earners to afford the health insurance. On the other hand,
the middle income earners are highly taxed, which implies that they are
left with little income to spend, which makes it difficult to afford the
health care insurance. The legal aspect of the issue is that once the
Affordable Care Act became a law, it has to be amended despite the
effect on the middle income earners.
The ethical aspect of the issue is that a policy is not supposed to
favor a certain group or individuals at the expense of others, but
should benefit all stakeholders equally. The Affordable Care Act tends
to favor the poor at the expense of the middle income earners since the
poor do not need to contribute anything since it is catered for by the
government however, the middle income earners pay higher taxes in order
to facilitate the success of the program. Based on the income that the
middle income earners receive, they should not pay higher taxes than the
upper class in facilitating the program. The Affordable Care Act is not
ethical since it does not benefit all the stakeholders equally, or based
on the contribution. Practically, the Affordable Care Act benefits the
poor more than the middle income earners, who pay high insurance costs
for the medical care. Based on the features of the Affordable Care Act,
it is practical but affects the middle income earners the most, despite
their declining incomes and increasing inflation.
Different levels contribute to the failure of the middle income earners
to afford insurance for the health cover proposed by the Affordable Care
Act these levels entail personal, group and societal levels. At a
personal level, the problem is usually contributed by the education
level. The level of education determines what a person earns therefore,
individuals with low literacy levels receive low incomes, which implies
that they will eventually have a problem with affording the insurance
cover proposed by the Affordable Care Act. At the group level, the chief
contributing factor of the issue is politics. Political leaders area
usually involved in the making of policies, which affect taxation and
rates. As a result of political leaders passing policies that encourage
high taxation on the middle income earners, the middle income earners
are immensely affected by the taxes leading to their failure in
affording the medical insurance cover as proposed by the Affordable Care
Act. On the other hand, at the societal level, inequalities in the
incomes paid are the chief contributor to the affordability problem
(Jennifer & Jeffrey, 2002). Because of the income inequalities in the
society, middle income earners receive low income, which make
affordability of the medical cover a problem.
The Affordable Care Act has personal, professional and ethical
implications to the society. Because of the rising cost of insurance,
individuals that are salaried will need to pay higher insurance premium,
which implies that they will need to fetch deep into their incomes. This
will definitely reduce the savings since the salaried will need to spend
more than they used to before the Affordable Care Act. Besides, since
the Affordable Care Act proposes health for all, some people may not
have access to health facilities because of too much formality and
congestion. The Affordable Care Act is going to impact the
professionalism in the society people will be focused more on the
provision of the health care insurance for everyone forgetting about
the issue of the health care workforce. Failure to provide enough
workforce will create problems in the society since the health care may
have only a few professionals, which imply that the service delivery
will be greatly affected. Because of fewer health care professionals and
the increasing number of individuals requiring medical care, there will
be inefficiencies in the delivering of services to the people, which may
even lead to poor health care. Therefore, rather than enhancing the
health care, the Affordable Care Act may negatively impact it. Besides,
it is going to impact professionalism because although it provides a
direction regarding the provision of health care, it does not provide a
model concerning how health care providers will receive compensation for
non-payment. On the other hand, the Affordable Care Act will also have
ethical implications in society. Although the Affordable Care Act seeks
to bring equality in the provision of health care to all individuals, it
may be unethical because are not likely to receive health benefits
commensurate to their payment. The Affordable Care Act leads to an
increased insurance, but does not provide enough workforce. This implies
that individuals will not be capable of receiving value for their
contribution.
The two sociological perspectives that can be used in providing an
explanation concerning the challenges faced by the insured middle income
earners. The two perspectives are functionalist and conflict
perspectives. The challenge faced by the insured middle income earners
is social stratification, which makes it difficult for them to afford
the increasing cost of insurance. According to the functionalist
perspective, social stratification is deemed necessary so as to induce
individuals with special knowledge, skills, and intelligence to enter
the most vital occupations (Erickson & Goldthorpe, 2002). Hence,
stratification is necessary and inevitable. Therefore, the insured
middle income earners face the challenge because of their education
level and level of intelligence. On the other hand, according to the
conflict theory, social stratification is a consequence of lack of
opportunity and due to prejudice and discrimination against a group.
Therefore, it is not necessary and inevitable. Therefore, the insured
middle income earners face the challenge of low income due to lack of
opportunity. For example, most of the middle income earners are educated
but lack the opportunity to have sufficient education to put them in the
upper income group. The following data shows income inequality in the
middle income earners, which is a principal challenge that they face.
The following data illustrates the income inequality emanating from
education, which is a key issue in the middle income earners. Depending
with the level of education, income increase as the education level
increases.
Source: US Census Bureau
Research Proposal
The social issue affecting the insured middle income earners constitutes
the problem of wage that does not match up with their family size due to
the influence of inflation. The research will involve determining
whether an increase in the wages of the low and middle class individuals
that are already insured contributes in keeping them going up. The
research study is fundamental since there is little existing knowledge
on the issue because only a few research studies to find out the same
have been conducted. Carrying of this research will help in uncovering
knowledge that was not revealed by the earlier studies concerning the
issue of study. However, based on the current studies on the research
issue, there are no meaningful solutions that have been offered, which
implies that carrying out this study will provide an insight for future
studies that will deal with the issue at hand. Since no meaningful
solutions have been offered by earlier studies concerning the issue,
this research will try to fill the gaps that earlier studies did not
fill. On the other hand, this research will also try to determine the
effects of inflation on the payment pattern of insurance with a
potential increase in wages. Since inflation is considered a principal
source of social problems such as an increase in commodity prices and
insurance costs, it will be critical to find out the effects of
inflation on the payment pattern of insurance services with the increase
in wages. This will be critical since it will help in understanding
whether it will be necessary for the government to increase the wage in
the low and middle income groups.
This research will involve only one group of participants because the
use of several target groups will lead to the study consuming a lot of
time. According to Gray (2009), a researcher incorporating the use of
varied distinct target groups forces a researcher to spend more time
studying the groups. Therefore, in order to take less time, this
research will deal with only one group of participants the participants
will engage insured middle income earners. The time that the research is
scheduled to take will be a maximum of one month. Nevertheless, in order
to ensure that the research adheres to this timeframe, it will be vital
to consider adopting staffing initiatives. According to Gray (2009), the
process of collecting data and compiling it consumes a lot of time. This
makes time the most vital factor to consider in conducting the research.
Hence, it is exceedingly crucial to for a researcher to engage the help
of all the research takers and participants so as to ensure that the
study takes the shortest time possible. It is only with the assistance
of the participants and research takers that the maximum time allocated
to the research can be realized. Sometimes, the individuals conducting
the research may not cooperate due to personal differences that emerge
this makes it hand to accomplish the research within the stipulated
time. However, this research will ensure that the persons conducting the
research cooperate with each other so as to complete the project within
the time frame projected of one month.
From a staffing perspective, the research is projected to be conducted
by two individuals. The two individuals will share duties as follows
the first person will be responsible for performing the process of
collecting data from the participants while the second person will take
the responsibility of compilation of the data collected. Through this
cooperation between the two staff members, it will be feasible to
realize the conduction of the research within the stipulated time of one
month. The staff members that will engage in conducting of the research
will be required to be competent enough and having the required
qualification. This will ensure the research is conducted efficiently
and with accuracy, which implies that there will be elimination of
errors in the collection and compiling of the data. Besides, in order to
ensure that the research is conducted within the projected time frame,
the researcher needs to ensure that there is maximum cooperation between
the research staffs and the participants. Since the required information
comes from the participants, it is critical to ensure that the language
used to the participants is easy to understand and simple.
From the target group, which comprises of insured middle income earners,
a group of 20 subjects will be selected as the sample population, which
will represent the interests of the entire population. This number was
chosen since according to research theory, it is fundamental to ensure
taking a small proportion of a population from the participants in order
to maintain objectivity. This provides a rationale for choosing the
sample population as 20 participants. In drawing these subjects, the
researcher will utilize simple random sampling where every participant
of the sample population will have an equal opportunity of
participating. One the sample population is identified, the researcher
will continue to the data collection phase. In collecting data, the
researcher will institute an online survey, where participants from the
sample population will be required to vote in an independent manner. The
voting will involve providing responses in terms of those in favor of
the Affordable Care Act as of assistance to them, and those against the
Affordable Care Act as hurting them. This implies that the online survey
will be exceedingly easy for participants to take part in.
Once the data has been collected, the researcher will embark on data
analysis. Emanating from the nature of the data collection method, and
the form of data collected, the researcher will integrate the use of a
statistical analysis tool, which in this case will be the Chi-square.
Chi-square statistical will be used since it can successfully compare
the observed data with the data that the researcher would expect to
obtain according to the hypothesis of the study. Besides, the Chi-square
will be used because of the nature of the research questions. According
to Gray (2009), chi-square is used in testing a hypothesis with whether
or not attribute of a sample. In fact, this is what the research
question entails it is focused towards determining whether increasing
the wages of the low and middle class individuals, who are already
insured, contributes towards keeping them going up. Therefore, the
analysis tool chosen will be chi-square.
Thea successful completion of this research will be exceedingly
essential to the academic field. Learners will benefit from using the
solutions presented in this research in answering questions regarding
the issue under study. The study will also add learners some knowledge
they did not have before learning from the research for instance,
since there is no research that has explicitly provided a solution to
the question under study, this research will help students gaining an
understanding and adding knowledge concerning the question under study.
Other researchers in the academic field are also likely to benefit from
this research because they will use information presented in this
research in building their research studies provided their research will
have a relationship with the subject matter being studied. Besides, in
the academic field, the research will add up to the existing information
and at the same time fill the gaps that earlier researches have not
filled. Apart from being essential to the academic field, the research
will also be essential to the society. To the society, the research
findings and recommendations will be used in establishing the levels of
wage increase that the government can provide to the workers with
insurance so as to keep them up. This is a vital aspect to the society
since it will help the government in eradicating social problems that
emerge due to inflation and low income. On the other hand, for the
agencies, the recommendations and findings will help in motivating them
to seek ways in which they can mitigate current inflation because it is
continuously hurting the population under study. Government agencies are
likely to be the most beneficiaries of the resulting data. This is
because the data provided by the study usually apply to the government
agencies. Hence, the agencies will be ready to use the information in
order to mitigate issues relating to inflation.
Conclusion
The signing of the Affordable Care Act into law was geared towards
ensuring that every citizen, whether affluent or poor, has an access to
affordable care. This was to be realized to be realized through the
government providing a funding for the poor while the middle income
earners and the upper class could contribute accordingly in order to
make this Act a success. However, it has emerged that most individuals
have varied perspectives and feelings concerning the Affordable Care
Act. This is in regard to those who are against the act and those who
are for the Act. Some individuals claim that the government will require
to contribute a lot of resources in order to fund the project while
others see it as a good move by the government. The poor are for the act
because they seem to benefit the most, while the mid income earners who
are insured view it differently. According to the insured middle income
earners, they are the most contributors of the health cover proposed by
the Affordable Care Act because they are highly taxed, despite their
declining incomes. Factors leading to the declining income entails,
income inequality, increasing number of dependants and inflation.
Because of the low income that the insured middle income earners receive
and inflation, they are not capable of paying for basic commodities such
as rent and health. Research indicates that by increasing the wages of
the low and middle class individuals, who are already insured, is a
vital aspect since it contributes towards keeping them going up.
Therefore, the government should focus on determining the wage level
that needs to be paid to the low and middle income group individuals,
with insurance, so as to keep the level of inflation down and keep the
individuals in the group going up. This will be critical in reducing the
number of individuals that cannot pay for basic commodities.
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AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE ACT HURTING THE MIDDLE CLASS OR HELPING THE LOW
AND MIDDLE CLASS PAGE * MERGEFORMAT 11
AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE ACT HURTING THE MIDDLE CLASS OR
HELPING THE LOW AND MIDDLE CLASS

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