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Course Details

Health Insurance Regulation and Reform (Hoffman,A)

Spring 2023   LAW 939-001  

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Allison K. Hoffman

Professor of Law; Deputy Dean

Additional Information

Skills Training
Oral Presentations
Expository Writing

34% Participation,
66% Paper,
Other (This will be a discussion seminar highly dependent on your active and thoughtful engagement. Class participation will be based on three elements: 1. Thoughtful weekly participation, reflecting engagement with the readings. 2. Posting of a short discussion question/comment on Canvas by 6 a.m. the day of class. You may skip any 3 weeks. 3. Kicking off one class discussion, based on assigned readings if you're writing short papers or based on your research if you write a longer paper.)

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement

With Permission of Instructor
Submit a topic by January 16 for approval.


Class meets in person.

Course Continuity
Students are encouraged to stay home if you are ill or experience flu-like symptoms. If you miss a class for any reason, it is still your responsibility to make up the work missed.

I offer the following to students who miss class due to illness:

- If you are absent due to illness or some other unavoidable circumstance, email me and I can make PowerPoint slides or other class materials available to you.

- If you are absent due to illness or some other unavoidable circumstance and want to join remotely, I will provide a zoom link, so long as the classroom technology allows.

Meeting Times/Location
T 4:30PM - 6:30PM
Silverman Hall 52



This seminar examines health insurance regulation and reform. The past decade since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has brought nonstop changes to health insurance and its regulation. This class offers an opportunity to discuss timely topics relating to healthcare financing and to contextualize them in the larger history of, politics of, and normative perspectives on health reform.

Insurance regulation is rife with notions of responsibility. It defines which risks a society will share collectively and, in turn, which risks individuals must bear on their own. The course will begin by considering competing normative perspectives on what health insurance reform should accomplish, including the appropriate role for the government (state and federal) and for the private market in financing medical care. It will then build on this foundation to explore selected aspects of the ACA’s policies, the litigation challenging that statute, and its most recent evolution—both through legislation and administrative actions—under the Trump Administration and Biden Administration. We will consider ongoing litigation on issues of financing services including reproductive health and preventive healthcare. Prior knowledge of the U.S. health care system is helpful but not required.

You may choose between writing either 3 short response papers (each ~7-8 pages double spaced), based on the materials for a class session, or one final seminar paper (~30 pages). If you choose to write a seminar paper, you must submit a topic for approval by the end of the first week of class. • Response papers should be based upon and critically examine readings for the class session. Response papers are due by 6 a.m. on the day of class. I will read and comment on a rough draft of your first response paper if you submit it to me any time prior to 6 a.m. on the Friday before it is due. • Seminar papers are due by 6 p.m. on Friday May 6. You may choose to write on any relevant health insurance reform topic, whether covered in the syllabus or not, with my approval. You must submit a brief topic proposal by January 16, an abstract and detailed outline by class on February 14, and a rough draft by March 17. I will provide written comments on your outline and rough draft. This paper could fulfill your SAW requirement.

Course Concentrations

Constitutional Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of constitutional law; Perform legal analysis in the context of constitutional law; Communicate effectively on topics related to constitutional law; Demonstrate an understanding of constitutional law affects other areas of law.

Health Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of health law and policy; Perform legal analysis in the context of health law and policy; Communicate effectively on topics related to health law and policy; Demonstrate an understanding of the interconnection among health law and policy and issues of access to services, public and private financing of health industries, and the political and economic issues surrounding issues of health law and health services.

Perspectives on the Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of how the law affects, and is affected by, the individual course topic; Perform legal analysis in the context of the individual course topic; Communicate effectively on the legal and other aspects of the individual course topic; Demonstrate the ability to use other disciplines to analyze legal issues relevant to the individual course topic, including economics, philosophy, and sociology, as appropriate.

Administrative and Regulatory Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of administrative and regulatory law and the administrative process, including the role of statutory authorization and work of administrative agencies; Perform legal analysis in the context of administrative and regulatory law; Communicate effectively on topics related to administrative and regulatory law; Demonstrate an understanding of the role administrative and regulatory law play in our legal system and in society as a whole.