Health Policy


Units: 6


This graduate-level course provides a comprehensive overview of health policy, designed to equip students with the ability to critically analyze the factors influencing health outcomes, the challenges facing the health care system, and the array of policy options available to governments. Through our exploration, we will engage with key issues such as societal expectations of medical care and the government’s role within the health care sector. While the course will address global health policy concerns pertinent to all industrialized nations, it will particularly concentrate on the intricacies of the health care system and policy landscape in the United States.


Learning Outcomes

By the end of this mini course students will:

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of contemporary health policy as an academic discipline and its overarching societal objectives.
  • Explore the historical evolution of U.S. health policy and the contributing factors to the distinctiveness of the American health care system.
  • Examine the processes involved in shaping health policies, including the stages of agenda setting and policy formulation.
  • Identify and describe the roles of various stakeholders in policy development, such as lobbyists, medical professionals, legislators, insurance firms, employers, communities, and individuals.
  • Pledge to recognize and respect diverse values while participating in health policy discourse.
  • Integrate and assess the principal components of significant health policy initiatives in the U.S., including the Affordable Care Act and Medicare for All proposals.
  • Cultivate the ability to construct, critique, and deliberate on the merits and drawbacks of various health policy proposals.

Prerequisites Description

Enrollment in this course presupposes a foundational understanding of the U.S. health systems. As such, Heinz College requires completion of the health systems course (90436) prior to this course as a prerequisite. If you lack prior experience with this course or a background in U.S. health systems, please arrange to meet with me as soon as possible.