About this course
Many Americans complain that they do not understand the US health reform law called the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare). They are right, and the main reason is that most Americans do not understand the basics of the U.S. health care system and US health care policy. Featuring some of the nation’s foremost teachers and thought leaders, this course provides students with a basic and thorough understanding of the U.S. health care system focusing on access, quality of care, and costs.
Students will learn how the system is structured, how care is organized, delivered, and financed, and how the Affordable Care Act will influence the future of the system. Learners will be able to understand the US health care policy-making structure process at the federal, state, and local levels. Students who complete this course will be able to interpret current controversies around US health care policy and develop informed opinions on future policy developments.
What you will learn?
- How the U.S. health care system is organized, financed, and governed
- Giving examples of key system stakeholders and participants, public and private
- How to describe the U.S. health care system’s essential building blocks, including Medicare, Medicaid, private health insurance, medical care delivery, pharmaceuticals, long-term care, mental health, oral health, and public health
- To interpret contemporary policy controversies pertaining to each key U.S. health care system building block
- The features and purposes of the basic components of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
- To identify challenges associated with reforming the U.S. health care system broadly, and specifically as it relates to ACA implementation
Suggested pre-reading: Inside National Health Reform, by the University of California Press and the Milbank Fund published in 2011 (portions of this book will be available during the course)
US Health Care Policy: Course Structure
This is a ten-week course, and there are two sessions each week, for a total of twenty sessions in the course. Each week, you are expected to watch both video lectures, answer the quiz questions, and respond to the discussion questions in the discussion board. We will also provide optional readings connected to the sessions.
Please refer to the course schedule to see the dates, topics, and professors for each week.
Your grade will be based on your answers to the quiz questions in each session. Each session is worth 5% of your grade, and you must earn at least a 75% out of 100% to receive a completion certificate.
Questions on US Health Care Policy course
All questions about the course should be made under the course discussion topic: “Questions About the Course.” Given the high enrollment in the class, emails sent directly to the professors or course teaching staff will not be answered.
US Health Care Policy: Discussion Board Participation
We encourage you to respond to discussion questions throughout the course. This is your opportunity to engage with your peers. If you have a question for the course team that you would like to post on the discussion board, please check first to see if someone else has already posted the same question. You can use the upvote button to vote for questions that you would like the course team to answer. Due to the high number of students in this course, please understand that the course team will focus on answering the questions that get the most upvotes. Please note, the course team will remove aggressive and inappropriate comments on the discussion board.
Discussion Board Tips and “Netiquette”
- Be self-reflective before you post an emotional response and reread what you have written to be sure it is positive. Think of your comments as printed in the newspaper. Your online comments will be seen, heard and remembered by others in the class.
- Avoid the use of all caps or multiple punctuation elements (!!!, ??? etc).
- Be polite, understate rather than overstate your point, and use positive language.
- If you are using acronyms, jargon or uncommon terms, be sure to explain them so everyone can understand and participate in the discussion.
- Ask for clarification to a point if you feel emotional from a classmate’s post. It is likely that you misunderstood his/her point. This strategy will also help you step away from the intensity of the moment to allow for more reflection.
- Foster community. Share your great ideas and contribute to ongoing discussions. Consider each comment you make as one that is adding to, or detracting from, a positive learning environment for you and your classmates.
- Be constructive. You can disagree. You can challenge ideas and the course content, but avoid becoming negative online. When you disagree politely you stimulate and encourage great discussion. You also maintain positive relationships with others with whom you may disagree on a certain point.
- Keep the conversation on topic by responding to questions, adding thoughtful comments about the topics at hand. If you would like to contribute a line of thought about another topic, wait or post it in another thread.
Note: Your review matters
If you have already done this course, kindly drop your review in our reviews section. It would help others to get useful information and better insight into the course offered.
- Harvard University
- Online Course
- 1-4 Weeks
- Free Course (Affordable Certificate)
- Health and Society Health Research Healthcare US Policies