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Healthcare can be a confusing issue — one with economic, medical, and social dimensions. What should the government’s role be in providing healthcare? How can we best keep our country healthy? In this lesson, students will have a chance to discuss their own beliefs about our healthcare system.
Estimated Time: One class period
Level: 10th – 12th grade
Civil Dialogue & Critical Thinking
By the end of this lesson, students will have learned:
- Collaboration: students will work together and learn from each other through discussion
- Civil conversation and conflict resolution: students will learn how to listen, understand and respect one another’s views, especially when there are differences of opinion and background.
- Research and analysis: students will have a deeper understanding of different perspectives (including their own, their classmates, and the country at large) through researching and discussing
See how this program complies with Common Core standards.
Tools & Resources Provided By AS4S & Our Partners
- The Healthcare Topic Page on AllSides will give your students a good understanding of the background of this issue. AllSides Topic pages provide background information, current news and opinions, think tanks and more.
- The Think Tank Search on AllSides allows you to search through Think Tanks that represent different political perspectives.
- The AllSides Balanced Dictionary reveals how different people from across the political spectrum think and feel about the same term or issue. Utilize these terms: Abortion, Abstinence (Sex) Education, Affordable Care Act, Big Health, Big Pharma, Biological, Birth Control, Comprehensive Sex Education, Euthanasia, Family Planning, Health Freedom, Mental Health, Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, Recovery, Right to Die, Socialized Medicine, Stem Cell Research and Treatment Outcomes.
Suggested Curriculum / Class Plan
Homework Prior to Class
Students will spend 10-20 min looking at the most recent news about Healthcare from different perspectives.
If you’d like to have an in-class discussion, divide students into small groups, preferably with a mix of biases. (Educator may need to have students complete a simple bias quiz for homework 2 days prior so the Educator has a chance to evaluate relevant classroom biases, if a similar test has never been conducted previously.)
If you’d like to have an online discussion with a classroom that holds different political views, utilize the Mismatch platform.
Pick and choose from the following list of discussion questions, and give students time to discuss them in small groups. If time permits, also have students come back into a larger class-wide discussion to share their thoughts.
- What does it mean to have a right to health?
- What do you do when you are sick or hurt and you need to go to the doctor?
- Can you think of reasons why a person might find it difficult to get care when they are sick or hurt?
- What does it mean to have healthcare coverage?
- Should providing healthcare for all be the government’s responsibility?
- When it comes to “fixing” the healthcare system, do you trust the president and Congress?
- Is access to healthcare more important than how much healthcare costs?
- Overall, would you rate existing healthcare coverage in this country as excellent or good?
- Should Congress should try to reform healthcare gradually as opposed to enacting a comprehensive reform package?
- Do you support adding taxes on the wealthiest Americans to pay for the healthcare subsidies?
- Do you think the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has been successful? Why or why not?
- How can it be improved?
- Should the ACA be repealed all together? Why or Why not?
Other Healthcare Questions:
- Some people see financial incentives and drivers behind health services as a problem – while others do not. What do you think?
- Do you trust doctors? Do you do what they tell you to do? Why or why not?
Deeper Meaning questions:
- How are your healthcare needs are met? Are you happy with your healthcare?
- What do you think is the right balance between individual, business, government and other ways
- in providing healthcare?
- Do you believe you get a good value for your healthcare dollars?
- What else would you like to say about healthcare?
- What do you think of businesses who do or don’t provide health insurance for their employees?
Final Questions to pose to students, either as homework or just as a wrap up:
- What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?
- Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?
Optional Homework Assignments
- Have students write a 300 word reflection after the Healthcare class discussion — what did they learn? Did they have any interesting disagreements? Why do they think discussions about our environment matter?