Care Crisis Timeline
Health, Government, Civics
Estimated Time of Completion: 2 -3 class periods
Students will work in groups to construct an illustrated time line
explaining the history of health care and health insurance in 20th
They will be able to explain why 1/3 of Americans have no
or inadequate insurance and the chronically ill make choices between
medications and their homes and/or savings.
They will draw their own conclusions as to possible remedies
for this crisis.
activity addresses the following health standards as established
by McREL at http://www.mcrel.org/standardsbenchmarks/standardslib/health.html
Knows factors that influence personal selection of health care resources,
products, and services
Knows local, state, federal, and private agencies that protect
and/or inform the consumer (e.g. FDA, EPA, OSHA, and local prosecutor's
Understands the cost and accessibility of a variety of health-care
services (e.g. Health insurance coverage)
"Healthcare Crisis: Who's At Risk?"
Posterboard or large sketch pads or newsprint
Computers with Internet access
Web site list
A time line is
provided as part of this Web site that will help with student timelines
Begin the lesson with the statement from the video: "Healthcare
Crisis - Who's At Risk?" informing viewers that more than 43 million
American citizens have no health care, and that an astonishing 80
million people have inadequate or no healthcare. That's nearly 1/3
of the country. Are those statistics a wealthy country like the
United States should be proud of?
Ask students if they have any idea what accounts for these
startling statistics. Brainstorm a list of possible causes on the
blackboard or overhead projector.
Ask students if they can explain what a crisis is. Is the
United States in a "crisis" when it comes to health care, as the
producers of the program would claim? Why is health care considered
so important? Is it a basic "right"?
Explain to them, after a brief discussion of the above queries,
that the video "Healthcare Crisis: Who's at Risk?" will attempt
to answer those questions as well as others having to do with the
Introduce the timeline project by explaining that student
groups will construct an illustrated timeline to explain the healthcare
Emphasize the importance of taking notes during the video
with the timeline in mind.
Remind students that the back side of their posters must
include possible solutions to the crisis today.
The following day, students should work in groups to construct a
timeline explaining why the United States' health care system is
in crisis. The timeline found on the general audience portion of
this Web site, as well as other sites like PBS.org's Frontline,
will help students learn more.
Each group will have a copy of the assessment rubric to help
them in construction of their project. (link down to to Assessment
Part of the group will do computer research, while the others
work on the timeline.
The back of the timeline should be dedicated to possible
solutions to the crisis.
Student posters will be displayed throughout the room.
following rubric will be used to assess the timeline project:
What was the status of health care in 1940? 5
2. During the '50-'60s, who paid health insurance? 5
3. What was coverage for unemployed or elderly citizens like in
the 1960s? 10
4. When were Medicare and Medicaid enacted? What is their current
5. During the 1970s, how did technological advances affect health
6. When was managed care introduced? 10
7. What % of Americans are in managed care programs? 10
8. What happened to the national comprehensive health plan? What
is our government doing to address the crisis today? 10
9. In your proposed solutions, be sure to address: indigent, Medicare
prescriptions, uninsured 20 Total Points Possible 100
The timeline could be constructed without the solutions part of
A third day's lesson could be class presentations of the
timelines and collective ideas for solutions.
An insurance broker, health care worker, or physician could be invited
to class as students near completion of their projects to review
the timelines with the group and possibly give suggestions or explanations.
Students might refine their project and submit it to representatives
in their congressional districts asking for the legislators to consider
their suggestions for resolving the crisis.
The timelines could be adapted to be "living timelines" where
each person in the group represents a mark on the timeline. That
student would then verbalize what happened during their mark on
the healthcare timeline. This would be a fun activity for a parent
open house or as a class presentation where legislators, parents,
hospital administrators, insurance agents or other members of the
community might be invited.
The timelines might be posted in local health care facilities
with "guestbooks" inviting public comment.