HEALTH CARE ACCESS: HOW LEGAL & SOCIAL FORCES SHAPE ACCESS IN THE U.S.
(LAWA-4011) - 3 UNITS
This course is designed to introduce students to the structure of health care delivery in the U.S. and the law governing access to this system. Access to health care depends on many factors: the availability of, and accessibility to, medical providers; resources to pay for care; the skill to navigate the health delivery and insurance systems; and trust between patients and providers. We will explore how the law facilitates or hinders access in all of these areas. Topics covered include: whether health care providers have a legal obligation to treat the public; to what extent anti-discrimination laws facilitate equal access to health care for groups historically subject to discrimination (such as, racial and ethnic minorities, women, people living with HIV/AIDS, and persons with disabilities); patient protections and challenges in employment-based health plans and government health care programs (e.g., Medicaid and Medicare); the rise of managed care and states? regulatory responses. Throughout the course, we will confront the tension that arises from our desire to ensure access for the greatest number, while providing good quality care and containing cost. Students will have the opportunity to explore these concepts in-depth through a research project on a current health care access issue. This is a paper course.