The aim of this course is to provide students with an overview of the U.S. health care system, its components, and the policy challenges created by the organization of the system. We will give attention to the status and implementation of the 2010 reform legislation and the ongoing budget debate in the U.S. Congress related to health care. We will focus on the major health policy institutions and important issues that cut across institutions, including private insurers and the federal/state financing programs (Medicare and Medicaid/SCHIP). In addition focus will be given to the quality of care, structure of the delivery system, the drivers of cost growth, and longterm care. The course will be a combination of lectures and discussions. The instructors will introduce topics and guide discussions. Students are expected to actively participate in the discussion. Literature from economics, politics, medical sociology, and ethics will be incorporated into discussions and written exercises. No disciplinary background is assumed, nor is any special familiarity with the field of health care required.