573.01 Shaping Law and Policy: Advocacy and the Affordable Care Act

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. 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, state waivers, insurance exchanges, insurance coverage requirements, and insurer risk protections, as well as broader legal issues involving administrative rulemaking, constitutional rights, federalism, statutory history, standing, and severability, Our class will examine 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 for illustrating 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. 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. Relatively early selection of potential paper topics is advised.   

Fall 2021

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room
Course Credits
Reflective Writing
Research and/or analytical paper(s), 15-20 pages
Class participation
Thomas Miller W 10:30 AM-12:20 PM 4044
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.573.01.F21
Email list: LAW.573.01.F21@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - Public Interest
Course Areas of Practice