Describe the two principal government health care programs: Medicare and Medicaid (
Understand what health policy is and how it helps shape the structure of the health care system.
Describe the professional structure of health in the U.S., including the history of the medical and nursing professions and the development of hospitals and specialized facilities.
Identify the many ways in which health insurance can be structured, including health maintenance organizations.
Describe the two principle government health care programs: Medicare and Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California). Explain some of the weaknesses and problems that have been identified in these programs and identify recent efforts at reform.
Understand how issues of cost, quality and access compete for attention in the policy arena and how the for-profit motive has made finding a solution more difficult.
Gain an appreciation for how other social factors (e.g. culture, ethnicity or social class) can independently affect access to care.
Demonstrate an ability to think critically about the health care system and to communicate information effectively to others. (e.g. through discussion, presentations, written assignments etc.)
Learn what problems, issues and concerns patients have with the healthcare system. Understand why many patients are troubled and insecure about their healthcare, their insurance and their providers.
Carry on an ongoing discussion throughout the semester regarding President Obama’s new healthcare plan (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). These discussions will be based primarily on current events.