Not available in 2013/14
SA4F3      Half Unit
US Health Policy

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Adam Oliver COW 3.06


This course is available on the MSc in Health, Population and Society, MSc in International Health Policy and MSc in International Health Policy (Health Economics). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
The course is of great value to those wishing to work as health policy analysts after graduation, be that in academia, industry, government or health care management and practice.

Course content

The course offers a thorough understanding of the major issues in the United States health care policy debate. The historical development of the system, the predominant private sector health insurance, the public coverage of 'entitled' groups, the problems of uninsurance, and policies aimed at improving the efficiency and equity of the system will be considered.


10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of lectures in the ST.

Indicative reading

"The health care mess: how we got into it and what it will take to get out", by Julius Richmond and Rashi Fein (Harvard University Press, 2005); "The Politics of Medicare", Second Edition, by Theodore Marmor (Aldine de Gruyter, 2000); "The system: the American way of politics at the breaking point", by Haynes Johnson and David Broder (Little Brown, 1997); "The reform of the 1990s: The United States": Chapter 3 of "Accidental Logics", by Carolyn Tuohy (Oxford University Press, 1999). "The historical logic of national health insurance: structure and sequence in the development of British, Canadian and US Medical Policy", by Jacob Hacker, Studies in American Political Development (1998) 12: 57-130.


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 2500 words) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2009/10 - 2011/12 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 1.6
Merit 79
Pass 19.4
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2012/13: 14

Average class size 2012/13: 16

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2010/11 - 2012/13 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 94.9%



Reading list (Q2.1)


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Lectures (Q2.5)


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