Healthcare Reform Lesson Plans

Healthcare reform is a subject that students can debate, research, and analyze.

By Debra Karr


healthcare reform lesson plans

One of the most controversial issues today is healthcare reform. According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the United States is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not have a universal health care system. Private and public funding sources for healthcare fuel political debate, and serve as an issue that divides even members of the same party.

No matter what side of the issue one may be on, healthcare reform opens up discussion opportunities for students and provides a wealth of lesson material to keep them busy for days, months, or maybe even entire school years. The vocabulary presented in any healthcare reform debate will undoubtedly improve language skills and provide history lesson content. Words like “lobbyist,” “filibuster,” “Congress,” “Senate,” “private interests,” “public policy,” and “baby boomer” to name a few.

The lessons that follow provide more in-depth coverage and specifics that pertain to the healthcare reform issue, and give insight, background, and some explanation as to how healthcare reform has become such a hot topic - especially now. As teachers look at each lesson, they can pick out the vocabulary words they would like to go over with their students.  If students know what specific words mean, they are less likely to “tune out” when reading about such politically charged, text-intensive information that these kinds of issues present.

Healthcare History and Present Day Reform Lessons:

Medicare, Money and Mania

Students incorporate math skills with language arts and social studies by reading about what Medicare is, and then deducting the amount of money that comes out of each paycheck that goes towards Medicare. They also utilize Internet research by following links provided which explain the history of Medicare. Students also analyze political debate that surrounds this issue.

The State of Healthcare Presentations

In this lesson students examine, evaluate and gain an understanding about the number of uninsured Americans from the middle class. Students compare and contrast the American healthcare system to those of other countries. After compiling their findings, students make a presentation to the class by incorporating charts, graphs and text that require the mastery of technology integration.

Comparing the Japanese System to US Healthcare

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights will be explored in this lesson. Additionally, students will research and study the Japanese healthcare system. They will compare that system to today’s US healthcare system, through examining statistics and data. They will write a report that synthesizes all of the information studied, and come away with not just an opinion, but solid facts that contrast the two kinds of systems.

Discussion Question:

Have you had discussions regarding our healthcare system in your classroom?

Teacher Education Guide

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Debra Karr