Comparative Health Policy

Course Info

Course Number/Code: 17.315 (Fall 2004)
Course Title: Comparative Health Policy
Course Level: Undergraduate
Offered By: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
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Department: Political Science
Course Instructor(s): Prof. Harvey Sapolsky
Course Introduction:
Syllabus Course Description

This course examines in comparative prospective the health care policy problems facing the United States including providing adequate access to medical services for all, the control of rising health care costs, and the assurance that the quality of health care services is high and improving. It explores the market and regulatory policy options being debated politically in the United States to solve these problems and compares possible foreign models for reform including those offered by the Canadian, British, Japanese, and German systems. The course shows how the historical development of the American health care system limits greatly policy options that can be considered and creates pressures that favor a continuing emphasis on technology and structural decentralization. The course also examines important health risks and the political and organizational factors that distort the public's understanding of these risks.

Course Requirements

Midterm and final examinations: The midterm examination tests for background information on the U.S. system. The final examination tests the ability to draw policy lessons from comparative sections and integration of all course material. Students' participation in class is important. Students are also required to attend a weekly discussion section lead by the teaching assistants and scheduled at off class hours.Grading

Grades in 17.315 are based on midterm examination (30%), class participation (20%), and final examination (50%).