Spring 2021 • Seminar
Public Health Law and Policy
Prerequisites: This seminar is open to LLM students by permission.
Exam Type: No Exam
This seminar provides an overview of the historical law and policy decisions that have shaped the U.S. health care system and are informing current debates about health reform. Incorporating varying perspectives, the seminar discusses federal and state policy options to address current health and public challenges.
This seminar begins with an analysis of health systems in other countries. Next, we discuss the key policy decisions that have shaped the current patchwork of public and private insurance coverage options in this country. After providing this international and historical context, we analyze in detail the key elements of the current U.S. health and public health care systems through the lens of its impact on vulnerable populations. We look at the components of the federal approach to reform, including the national health care reform law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We also consider several state initiatives that highlight how states are acting as laboratories of innovation to implement sweeping health and public health reforms. Finally, we discuss the current health law and policy climate in this country and explore both the opportunities and challenges for health policy solutions focused on increasing access to care and addressing public health concerns.
This seminar is open to students interested in health and public health law and policy; no background or prerequisites are required. The reading materials include various book chapters, cases, news reports, and scholarly articles that present diverse viewpoints on the topics presented. The course employs experiential learning techniques, such as role plays, simulations, and discussion posts to spark debate between different sides of often controversial issues. Over the course of a semester, students gain a wealth of hands-on experience in current and emerging health law and policy issues, produce a written policy paper, and develop a range of problem-solving, policy analysis, research and writing, oral communication, advocacy and leadership skills.
Some seats are reserved for students in the spring Health Law and Policy clinic. Students who claim a clinical seat in this course will be enrolled in this course by the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs. If a student in a clinical seat drops the spring Health Law and Policy clinic, they will also lose their reserved seat in this course. Please note that there is an early drop deadline of December 4, 2020 for spring clinical students in this course.
Enrollment in this seminar is limited to 22