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The Health Care Debate: Universal Vs. Private

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Liberty Nation GenZ  believes in educating young Americans about the U.S. and its Constitution. This high school lesson plan can be used in the classroom or the home, and adapted to a range of student abilities.

Objectives:

  • Students will engage in critical thinking and civil dialogue on a controversial topic.
  • Students will be able to explain the advantages and disadvantages of three health care systems.
  • Students will draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • Students will develop claims and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant data and evidence for each.

Materials:

ARTICLE: Free Health Care: What Is It, and Is It Good for America? discusses the Affordable Care Act, private health insurance, and Medicare for All systems.

HANDOUT: Health care comparison table

VIDEO: Why Health Care Isn’t Problem Free looks at the downsides of a universal health care system.

HANDOUT: Debate information sheet provides three arguments for and against universal health care.

HANDOUT: Comprehension quiz.

HANDOUT: Discussion questions.

Suggested Procedure:

Step 1

Ask students what recent news they have seen about health care. Informally discuss students’ prior knowledge about the U.S. health care system.

Step 2

Ask students what they would do to improve the current system. Mention Obamacare and ask students whether they think it has had a positive or negative effect on the country.

Step 3

As a class or individually, students read Free Health Care: What Is It, and Is It Good for America?  This can be printed or read online.

Step 4

Have students fill in the health care comparison table, writing the key facts, advantages and disadvantages of private health insurance vs. Obamacare vs. Medicare for All.

Step 5

Ask students which is their preferred system and discuss their answers. Depending on the number of students, hold a vote to see which is the most popular option.

Step 6

Display the video Why Health Care Isn’t Problem Free.

Step 7

Students read the information sheet that presents opposing views on free health care.

Step 8

Students complete the comprehension quiz on the video and information sheet.

Step 9

Students complete discussion worksheet on free vs. private health care – this can be done individually or in groups.

Extension 1

Have students find a recent news article related to health care, and present it, giving a summary, describe any bias it has, and analyze its context in the overall debate over health care in the U.S.

Extension 2

Students create a survey to collect information about the experiences of  family members and local or online communities, relating to the health care system. They may  present their findings. Students could…

  • Create a graph to measure how common certain experiences and views are in their community.
  • Compare and contrast the survey results among different demographics, e.g., age, gender, location.
  • Map what impact that changes such as the Affordable Care Act have had on respondents’ lives.

Extension 3

Have students imagine they are responsible for obtaining their own health insurance. They must research a suitable provider online, choose a plan, and fill in the relevant application forms (no need to submit them). Students can then verbally discuss or write about their experience, what they learned through the process and their views on it.

Download lesson plan PDF and handouts.

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