Fall 2017 - 60658 - PA 380L - Topics in Public Policy and Law
Health Law and Policy: Obamacare, Political Change, and the Path Forward
Health care represents approximately one-sixth of the American economy, as skilled personnel provide life-saving services using advanced technology. But the fairness and efficiency of the health care system remain controversial. Enacted a century after universal health coverage was first proposed in the United States, the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) intensified public policy debate rather than resolving it. After years of sustained opposition, the Republican party now seeks to “repeal” and “replace” Obamacare after its victory in the 2016 national elections. But why? And how?
This course considers some of the toughest problems in current health law and policy. Which countries have the best health care systems, and why? What roles should government play in health care, and what roles should it avoid? Does the U.S. make too many social problems into medical ones, or too few? What is the best way to support the cost of care for those who are too sick or too poor to afford it themselves? How can we spend less on health care and get more for our money? To what degree should the future health care system be controlled by physicians? How can individuals and communities become healthier? How can racial disparities in health care and health be reduced? How can the health care system best serve an aging population? What policies would most effectively further innovation? Finally, how has law defined these problems and how can legal change facilitate their solution?
This course has a Final Examination