United States Health Politics and Policy

3 credits

POL_SC 4390

Political Science
College of Arts and Science

This course deals with the politics and public policy of health in the United States. This topic is broader than you may think – when many Americans hear “health policy,” they probably think first of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and other policies dealing with health insurance. There is no doubt that these issues are important and deserve our attention, they are just the tip of the iceberg of how politics and policy affect the health of the US population. In addition to issues of health insurance coverage, this course will cover topics ranging from the quality of medical care, to socioeconomic disparities in health outcomes, to substance abuse and addition, to gender and reproductive health, to the question of what counts as a “disease,” and more. All of these issues are deeply political, whether you may realize it or not, and all present public policy challenges. In addition to building your subject matter knowledge, this course will help you to develop critical thinking and argumentation skills about public policy issues. It will also give you experience in conceiving and drafting a policy memo, a common format of written communication in the policy world.