fbpx U.S. Health Care Policy | Harvard Kennedy School
Amitabh Chandra Photo

Amitabh Chandra

Ethel Zimmerman Wiener Professor of Public Policy, HKS; Henry and Allison McCance Professor of Business Administration, HBS

This course discusses the U.S. health care system, the challenges created by the political economy of the system, reform efforts, and the opportunities for public policy.  Topics include uninsurance, quality, disparities, cost-growth, market-power, medical malpractice, long-term care, innovation and pharmaceutical pricing.  We will focus on major health policy institutions, issues that cut across institutions, including private insurers and the federal/state financing programs (Medicare and Medicaid/SCHIP), and examine how major pieces of legislation, such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and ideas like ‘Medicare for All’ confront these challenges. Our emphasis will be on ‘evidence based health policy’ and we will use a mix of cases, books, and movies to understand challenges, opportunities, and the evidence for reform ideas. Students are expected to actively participate in the discussion. No disciplinary background is assumed, nor is any special familiarity with the field of health care required. However, knowledge of basic economics and basic statistics will be assumed.