Course Description



This course examines the complex and interesting manner in which law regulates the financing of health care in the United States. Compared with other advanced countries, our finance system is largely private, with the public sector filling in gaps left open by a market-based foundation. This blend creates fascinating divisions of authority between private and public actors and between the federal government and the states. The course studies the manner in which these basic divisions play out across particular topics such as traditional state regulation of health insurance; the manner in which the federal Employee Retirement Income and Security Act (ERISA) displaces much of state law without providing much substantive federal regulation; numerous state and federal laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, aimed at discrimination in the provision of health insurance and health care; Medicare and Medicaid; and methods of paying health care providers. Necessarily, emphasis is placed throughout the course on the manner in which the Affordable Care Act does, or does not, reform the system. Further, the course examines the laws regulating the transactional base of our private health care system: fraud, tax, and antitrust. Along with its companion course, Health Law: Regulating Quality and the Patient-Provider Relationship, this course is designed to form the foundation for much of the health law curriculum and for the practice of health law. This course is designed to be taken by itself, or before or after Health Law: Regulating Quality and the Patient-Provider Relationship.