Health Care For All

Subject Name: 
Public Health
Course Number: 
UMass Amherst
U.S. health care system with emphasis on issues relating to unequal access to health services. An analysis of how the system should work. Special attention to controversial issues, including managed care and health insurance. How other countries design health systems. (Gen.Ed. SB, U)
Open to first year students in Health Sciences RAP in James. PUBHLTH 129-02

We all want to maximize our health. In order to do this, we will all need to utilize the healthcare system. We may need a routine trip to the dentist, a flu shot, or an emergency trip to the hospital for a broken bone or emergency surgery. This broad need is one of the reasons that the healthcare sector is the single largest industry in the US today. Clearly, everyone's experience is not the same. Inequities exist in both access and outcomes, due to both money and more pervasive social and cultural barriers.

This course will provide an overview of the US healthcare system. This will include issues related to cost, quality, access, institutions, structure, and the workforce. We will explore the strengths and weaknesses of our system and compare it to models in other countries. We will also discuss how the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other key policies have impacted the system. The course will be taught using a public health lens, drawing upon anthropology, economics, sociology, philosophy, the medical field, and political science, among others.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

(1) Demonstrate knowledge of the different determinants of health and how health is defined
(2) Demonstrate a basic knowledge of a health care system and its components
(3) Describe the organization and stakeholders of the US health care system
(4) Understand how the interaction of social, economic, and political forces shape health policies
(5) Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the US health care system
(6) Critically evaluate the current issues of the US health care system.
Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Schedule #: 

Course Sections

Health Care For All
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
02 4.0 Tai Spargo TU TH 1:00PM 2:15PM