ECON 230
The Economics of Health and Health Care Spring 2015
Division II Writing Skills
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Class Details

In recent years, the intersection between health and economics has increased in importance. The costs of health care have been rising, although more slowly in the past few years. A substantial fraction of the United States population lacks health insurance, with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act intended to remedy that problem. In the United States and around the world the rising elderly population is putting increasing pressure on health spending. Globally, the HIV/AIDS pandemic is causing severe economic hardship, and many people lack access to basic health care. More positively, advances in health care have widened the scope of possible treatments. Given the importance of good health for individual well-being, it is not surprising that health, health care and how to pay for it are sources of anxiety for individuals and policymakers worldwide. In this course we will analyze the economics of health by applying standard microeconomic techniques to the problems of health and health care markets. The course focuses on three broad issues: the inputs to health and the demand for health care, the structure and consequences of public and private health insurance, and the supply of health care. Special attention will be devoted to topics of current public policy, including the problems of rising costs and cost containment, health insurance reform, the changing nature of health care provision, changing public policies in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, hospital competition, and the determinants and consequences of technological change in medicine.
The Class: Format: lecture/discussion
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 3476
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: several short papers and a final research paper and presentation
Prerequisites: ECON 110
Enrollment Preferences: Economics majors, Political Economy majors, and public Health concentrators
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Attributes: INST Global Health Studies Electives
PHLH Decision-Making by Institutions + Individuals
POEC U.S. Political Economy + Public Policy Course

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