Printable Version

Fall 2014
6395 Healthcare Policy - Kathleen Rubinstein- 26115

Students must see the Office of Student Services for registration services.


Credits: 3

Course Areas: Non-Law Courses 

Time: 5:30p-8:30p  T  Location: 105  M

Course Outline: The course number is: PUBL 6395- section 26115.

Healthcare Policy Seminar
Kathleen P. Rubinstein, MPA, Instructor
Tuesday 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Instructor Information Kathleen P. Rubinstein, MPA
Phone: 713.276.1650

Medicine is a social science, and politics is nothing else but medicine on a large scale.
Rudolf Virchow (1880)
This course examines the role of government in organizing, financing and delivering healthcare
in America. Areas of study include the history behind the century old quest for national
healthcare; the political environment that shapes healthcare policy; the policy implications raised
by social vs. private health insurance and government regulation vs. market-oriented solutions
for social problems; conflicting values involved in the distribution of healthcare; and the
strengths and dysfunctions of a third party payment system for healthcare. The promise, politics
and pitfalls of the 2009-2010 national healthcare reform debate including an examination of the
key themes and transformational elements that worked to forge the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act (PPACA) also are addressed.
Healthcare policy
??Evaluate how the historical development of healthcare politics in the United States
influences the policy cycle and frames the current debate
??Analyze the political terrain that shapes policymaking in healthcare including:
— The policy environment and the role of key policy actors
— The breadth and diversity of the regulatory environment
— The strengths and dysfunctions of a third party payment system for healthcare
— The conflicting values associated with the distribution of healthcare resources
— The escalating cost of healthcare and strategies aimed at containing them
??Explore the dynamics of policy development, implementation and process within a federal
system of government
??Acquire a substantive knowledge of contemporary issues in healthcare policy including the
reforms implemented by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)
??Enhance and refine student skills in collecting, presenting and assessing relevant
information and data from numerous sources and in developing criteria for decisions and
alternative solutions for policy issues

Grades for the course will be determined as follows:
60% 4-page analysis & briefing assignments / class participation
20% 5-page essay papers on the Gordon (10%) and the Landmark (10%) texts
20% Policy analysis paper
Students who (1) carefully complete and keep pace with the assigned readings, writing
assignments and activities; (2) demonstrate thoughtfulness and initiative in relevant class
discussion; and (3) present evidence of scholarly research, writing and analysis should be able
to achieve excellence in this course.
Academic Honesty
Presenting the words or works of others as your own is plagiarism, is dishonest, and is a
violation of the University Policy on Academic Honesty. Please make certain that your work
product for this class conforms to the University of Houston’s policy on academic honesty at A student found
in violation of academic honesty may be subject to a failing grade, suspension, or dismissal
from the University.

??Dead on Arrival, Colin Gordon, Princeton University Press (2003); paperback (2004)
??Health Care Politics and Policy in America, Kant Patel and Mark E. Rushefsky, M.E. Sharpe,
Third Edition (2006)
??Landmark: The Inside Story of America's New Health Care Law and What It Means for Us,
Staff of the Washington Post (2010)
??A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis, Eugene Bardach, CQ Press, Third Edition (200

Course Syllabus: Syllabus

Course Notes:   This course is taught by Professor Kathleen Rubinstein. Please see her bio at:
Law students may need permission from the Public Administration Program to enroll in the class. Dr. Toshi Yuasa (Email: Phone: 713-743-3931).


First Day Assignments:

Final Exam Schedule:    

This course will have:

Satisfies Skills Course Requirement: No
Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: No

Experiential Course Type:

Bar Course: