Health Care and the Political Process
Phillip L. Sims, Instructor
Cell (915) 204-8985
10 October thru 31 November 2005
Tuesday and Thursday, 1700 to 1930 hours
Fort Bliss, Texas
I. COURSE DESCRIPTION
Analysis of the present process of health policy formation at the federal, state, and
local levels from historical and contemporary perspectives. Specific topics will
include cost controls, utilization review, methods of changing public and private
health policies, and political factors in health care delivery.
II. GOALS OF THE COURSE
The course is designed so that the student will have a better understanding of
politics at all levels of government and how it affects the delivery of health care.
The course will also address the health care utilization process by various
government and non-government agencies and their influence on how health
care is delivered
III. LEARNING OBJECTIVES
The student will have a clearer perspective of the effects of the political process on
health care, the utilization process in health care and its necessity. Also, how
politics at all levels of government affect health care delivery.
Lecture/conference Lecture review
Paper Paper presentation
Mid-term examination Final examination
V. COURSE REQUIREMENTS
Paper. A paper will be required of all students. The paper will be at least seven (7)
pages long, not including the table of contents, (index) and bibliography,
typed, and double spaced. The paper will deal with a subject in relation to the
course and agreed upon between the student and the instructor.
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VI. COURSE TEXT
Health Policymaking in the United States, 3rd Edition, B.B. Longest, Jr., Health
Administration Press, 2002.
Health Policy Issues, An Economic Perspective, 3rd Edition, Paul J. Feldstein,
Health Administration Press, 2003.
10-10 Administrative announcements, discussions of the syllabus. Chapter 1. The
Relationship of Government and Politics to Health and Health Care.
10-12 Continue Chapter 1. Review questions at the end of chapter 1. The Rise in
Medical Expenditures, (supplement resource).
10-17 Chapter 2. The Impact of Health Policy. How much should we spend on health
10-19 Continue Chapter 2. Do more medical expenditures produce better health?
10-24 Chapter 3. The Context and Process of Health Policymaking. In whose interest
does the physician act?
10-26 Chapter 4. Policy Formulation: Agenda Setting. Rationing medical services.
10-31 Continue Chapter 4. How much health insurance should everyone have?
11-2 Mid-term Examination.
11-7 Chapter 5. Policy formulation: Development of Legislation. Medicare and
11-9 Continue Chapter 5. The shortage of nurses. The high price of prescription drugs.
11-14 Chapter 6. Policy implementation. Employer-mandated national health insurance.
11-16 Continue Chapter 6. The politics of health care reform.
11-21 Chapter 7. Policy Modification. The role of government in health care.
11-23 Chapter 8. Political Competence. Review for the final examination. Research
11-28 Final Examination. Make-up student presentations.
11-30 Review of final examination.
Class participation is expected and will form a part of the final grade. Students are
expected to come to all classes and to be on time. Roll will be taken at each class
meeting. Classes missed for legitimate reasons, such as illness, temporary duty, are
excusable; however, the student must make up the missed work. The student is
responsible for providing the instructor with justification for an excused absence
either prior to or immediately after the absence. Two unexcused absences are
excessive and three unexcused absences will result in an in voluntary withdrawal
and a grade of “F” (attendance) for the course.
X. Submitting someone else’s work as your own will not be tolerated. If determined
by the instructor that academic dishonesty has occurred in any part of the course,
the student(s) involved will normally be given an immediate grade of F and
dropped from the course. The second violation results in automatic expulsion
from the school. The Assistant Vice President will be notified in writing of the
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XI. GRADING POLICY
The final course grade will be determined using the following measurements:
Mid-term Exam 30%
Final Exam 30%
Comprehensive Cases (Paper) 30%
Class Participation 10%
Mid-term exam will cover Chapters 1 through 4 and the Final Exam will cover
Chapters 5 through 8.
The comprehensive case paper must be typewritten and submitted on or before the
last lecture prior to the final examination. Late papers will not be accepted and a
failing grade for that part of the course assigned. Final papers will be due on or
The following will be used to assign course letter grades.
90 - 100 A
80 - 89 B
70 - 79 C
60 - 69 D
Below 60 F (also for three or more unexcused absences)