This seminar will examine how legal advocacy shapes law and public policy at the federal level, with particular emphasis on the last decade of history under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It will draw upon case histories of public interest litigation, administrative law advocacy, legislative development, and popular opinion strategies to illustrate the legal community’s key levers in shaping recent health policy. Each weekly seminar will focus on one or two of the health policy issues addressed in the ACA, across its various stages of development and evolution. Topics will include the individual mandate, Medicaid expansion and waivers, insurance exchanges, insurance coverage requirements, insurer risk protections, and cost sharing reduction subsidies; as well as broader legal issues involving administrative rulemaking, constitutional rights, federalism, legislative history, standing, and severability, After a very brief immersion in the context of health policy history and the tools of the public law trade, the seminar will emphasize how attorneys and their allies can play either offense or defense, or even switch roles, as the later stages of policy debates shift. The ACA provides an organizing context and means to the broader end of examining how Washington-oriented attorneys and related legal advocates operate, while offering a quick introduction to a host of contemporary issues in health law and policy. Because becoming an effective advocate first requires understanding the best arguments on both sides of a given issue, the seminar will provide a balanced representation of efforts by ACA defenders, opponents, and those in-between as they engaged in various regulatory and litigation activities to advance, negate, or alter the law’s original intentions. Study of the diverse and often-shifting legal problems encountered by a single industry, particularly one as important and complex as health care, may appeal to students generally interested in public policy and in law and economics, not just health care, as well as those interested in sharpening their skills in legal advocacy through involvement in litigation and administrative rulemaking. This fall’s class will adjust to online presentation by reducing potential weekly reading loads, previewing and summarizing key issues in each class session, pairing most weekly guest speakers to ensure better balanced viewpoints, and enhancing opportunities for offline engagement with the instructor. Relatively early selection of potential paper topics is advised.
|Course Areas of Practice|
Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15-20 pages
Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law