Health Care Rights in the Twenty-First Century

Health Care Rights in the Twenty-First Century

Mr. Kevin Costello, Ms. Carmel Shachar
Fall 2017 seminar
Th 5:00pm - 7:00pm in WCC Room 3011
2 classroom credits

Students who enroll in this course may count the credits towards the JD experiential learning requirement if they also enroll in the associated clinic.

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: No Exam

Underlying the current health care debate engulfing Washington is the fundamental question whether Americans enjoy a basic entitlement to health care. This course will briefly trace the history of the American conception of health care rights through the last half-century of administrative and political cycles. We will contrast a diverse array of ideological perspectives over this progression to understand the context of the current climate.

Building on this background, we will consider a broad range of rights-affording sources across the landscape of the modern American health care system: Federal civil rights statutes; the laws and agreements that govern public and private health insurance arrangements; data privacy and ownership rights; and other state and federal statutes that govern health care consumers, insurers, institutions and spending. We will also consider negative rights in the context of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and the relevant Religious Freedom Restoration Act developments. Building from this context, we will place congressional and common law health care rights provisions in the broader context of civil rights jurisprudence, including anti-discrimination regimes. Applying a lens of civil rights and enforcement to these sources of law, we will consider differing avenues available to achieve enforcement of health care rights, including through administrative and policy-based advocacy, as well as more formalized litigation.

The seminar is designed to be limited lecture, incorporating debates, role-plays, and other interactive sessions. It will culminate in a student-chosen project arising from the course materials — students will write a rights-enforcing instrument, which may include an administrative filing, a federal court complaint, or a regulatory comment. Students will have the option of further honing their health care rights skills by participating in the Health Law and Policy Clinic in conjunction with this seminar.

The seminar will appeal to law students interested in working across the spectrum of the health care field generally, to those interested in the intersection between law and health care, and to those who aspire to be civil rights lawyers.

Some seats are reserved for students in the fall Health Law and Policy clinic. If a student drops the fall Health Law and Policy clinic, they will also lose their reserved seat in this course. Please note that this course has an early drop deadline of August 29, 2017 for students enrolled in reserved clinical seats.

Subject Areas: Health Law, Government Structure & Function, Human Rights