The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—President Obama’s signature health reform legislation—has significantly impacted the health care system. Through changes to the regulation of private health insurance, federal subsidies for low-income people, individual and employer mandates, and dramatic expansion of the Medicaid program, millions of Americans have gained health insurance. Yet, implementation of the law’s most significant reforms has been challenging, and the law faces threats of repeal and replacement in coming years.
This course will examine the regulation of private health insurance with an emphasis on the issues that the Affordable Care Act was designed to address. Specifically, the course will explore regulatory changes such as new market reforms and health insurance marketplaces; the impact of federal and state approaches to implementation; legal and regulatory challenges; and areas where changes are anticipated. Guest lectures by speakers including legal experts, health policy experts, state and federal regulators, consumer advocates, and insurers will provide students with an in-depth understanding of how the Affordable Care Act has been implemented and what it means for millions of consumers across the country.
The primary objective of the course is to teach students about the regulation of private health insurance at the federal and state level, with the rare opportunity to witness real-time changes to this complex system. Through this course, students will gain practical experience in identifying and analyzing federal and state laws, regulations, and administrative materials. Students will also gain a broader understanding of regulatory advocacy, its significance in administrative law, and how it has affected Affordable Care Act implementation. By the end of the course, students will be able to describe how private health insurance is regulated at the federal and state level, the major reforms ushered in by the Affordable Care Act, federal and state progress in Affordable Care Act implementation, and likely areas of changes to the law given real-time debates.