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Online · School of Health Sciences · Public and Community Health

Politics and Health Policy

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 01/13/2020

Course Description

This course examines the framework and concepts used in public health policy. Processes of formulation, implementation and change will be discussed. Evidence-based decision making will be discussed. The role of politics in relation to health policy will be highlighted.





The underlying purpose of this course is to introduce the student into the public health policy debate as it relates to the political undertones within our society. It is designed for the student who is interested in creating, evaluating, or discerning current and future health policy to gain an understanding of the importance of the political ramifications of any healthcare program.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Discuss how the political process affects health policy and development.
  2. Describe how health policies are created.
  3. Compare the current United States Healthcare System with those of other nations, including strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Discuss current federal health care policies and legislation such as Medicare, Medicaid, and their implementation at the state and local levels of government.
  5. Examine current and future issues associated with healthcare access and healthcare disparities in the United States.
  6. Delineate advantages and disadvantages of current healthcare reform policy in its attempts to address the system’s shortcomings.
  7. Examine the role of government in the healthcare of its citizens.
  8. Compare and contrast how the Christian worldview and other worldviews have impacted the policy and politics of healthcare reform.

Course Resources

Required Resource Purchase

McLaughlin, C. P., & McLaughlin, C. D. (2018). Health policy analysis: An interdisciplinary approach (3rd.ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett ISBN-13: 9781284120240.

Disclaimer: The above resource provides information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in this resource.

Recommended Resource

American Psychological Association. Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (Current ed.). Washington, DC: Author.


Iverson, C, Christiansen, S, & Flanagin, A. AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors Current ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

All citations in this course must be consistent with APA (American Psychological Association) or AMA (American Medical Association).

Additional Materials for Learning 

    1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
    2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
    3. Blackboard recommended browsers
    4. Microsoft Word (Microsoft Office is available at a special discount to Liberty University students.)

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board forums (7)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the course will include 7 Discussion Board forums. Each thread will require a minimum of 400–500 words. Two replies are required with a minimum of 200–250 words each. Each thread is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday of Modules/Weeks 1–7. A minimum of two replies in each forum will be due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of the respective modules/weeks.

Article Reviews (2)

The student will complete two 1−2-page reviews of current scholarly articles on the current healthcare legislations and its possible effects on the healthcare system using the Article Review Form provided. The first article review is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 2. The second article review is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 5.

State Health Policy Review

The student will compare and reflect upon state healthcare policies using the links provided. This assignment must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 3.

Reflection Paper

The student will write a reflective paper about his/her current worldview and perception of the current healthcare debate after viewing the presentation “Worldviews”. This paper must be 2–3 pages in length, and is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 4.

Final Assessment

This assessment contains three parts:

Outline – This will include the following: legislative proposal, key terms, overview of legislation, and conclusion. This is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 6.

Bibliography – This will contain all of the Final Assessment resources. This assignment should include at least 10 scholarly, empirical, current sources (within the last five years) and must be directly related to the student’s legislative proposal and supporting documentation. This assignment is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 7.

Proposal – This proposal for new healthcare legislation should be no greater than 5–7 pages of text and include the following components: Title page including running header, abstract and key word, introduction, legislative proposals, summary, and reference page. This assignment is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday of Module/Week 8.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Discussion Board forums (7 at 75 pts ea)


Article Reviews (2 at 50 pts ea)


State Health Policy Review


Reflection Paper


Final Assessment:











Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at


HLTH 556

Textbook: McLaughlin & McLaughlin, Health Policy Analysis. (3rd ed., 2018).



Reading & Study




McLaughlin & McLaughlin: ch. 1

2 presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

DB Forum 1





McLaughlin & McLaughlin: chs. 2–3

DB Forum 2

Article Review 1




McLaughlin & McLaughlin: chs. 4–5

DB Forum 3

State Health Policy Review




McLaughlin & McLaughlin: chs. 6–8

2 presentations

DB Forum 4

Reflection Paper




McLaughlin & McLaughlin: chs. 9–10

DB Forum 5

Article Review 2




McLaughlin & McLaughlin:

chs. 11–12

1 presentation

DB Forum 6

Final Assessment Outline




McLaughlin & McLaughlin:

chs. 13–14

DB Forum 7

Final Assessment Bibliography




McLaughlin & McLaughlin:

review chapter 14

2 presentations

Final Assessment Proposal




DB = Discussion Board

NOTE: Each course week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.