This course will present a variety of compelling issues and problems that confront the U.S. health care system today. It will examine policies that have been enacted or promulgated to address each of these issues as well as present alternative policies that address access to care and equity in services. These policies will include legislation at the federal, state, and local levels, regulations and guidelines issued by agencies at each governmental level, and positions or strategies offered by advocacy groups. Each policy will be examined in terms of how it came to be and whose interest or interests it serves. Policies will also be analyzed and evaluated in terms of their effectiveness as solutions to the problems they address, their feasibility, and their relationship to the concepts of health as a basic human right, equity in health care delivery, and health promotion and disease prevention. Throughout the course, specific examples of policies that have been successful and unsuccessful to varying degrees in achieving these goals will be discussed and evaluated. In each policy discussion, analysis of how competing forces shape policies will be provided, such as how market forces compete with public need and how profit-making businesses and institutions affect health policy.