Fix-It Subjects: Health, Government
Time of Completion: 3-4 days
To research the critical problem that approximately 1/3 of Americans
are without adequate or any health care insurance.
To propose solutions to the problems of the under- or uninsured
members of our society.
This lesson addresses the following national health standards as
established by McREL at http://www.mcrel.org/standards-benchmarks/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, local prosecutor's office)
Understands the cost and accessibility of a variety of health-care
services(e.g. Health insurance coverage)
the following national government standards established by McREL
Understands how participation in civic and political life can help
citizens attain individual and public goals
Understands how individual participation in the political process
relates to the realization of the fundamental values of American
Understands what distinguishes participation in government and political
life from nonpolitical participation in civil society and private
life (e.g., participating in a campaign to change laws regulating
nursing homes as opposed to volunteering to work in a nursing home),
and understands the importance of both forms of participation to
American constitutional democracy
Knows the many ways citizens can participate in the political process
at local, state, and national levels, and understands the usefulness
of other forms of political participation in influencing public
policy (e.g., attending political and governmental meetings, demonstrating,
contacting public officials, writing letters, boycotting, community
organizing, petitioning, picketing)
Technology standards found at http://cnets.iste.org/912pro.htm:
Routinely and efficiently use online information resource's to met
needs for collaboration, research, publications, communications
Select and apply technology tools for research, information
analysis, problem-solving and decision making in content learning
Video: "Healthcare Crisis: Who's At Risk?"
Web sites relating to issues addressed in the video, particularly,
"Tough Questions" and the web
sites list (Link to web site list here) concerning "government
involvement," "presidential debate," and "possible solutions."
Glossary of terms in this site as well
as the terms section of the master web site
Computers with Internet access
Ask students to estimate how much their grandparents or other retired
senior citizens earn each year.
Ask what they think these senior citizens might spend on prescriptions
in a year. Do they think the average senior citizen could afford
$13,000-$14,000 per year on prescriptions?
Explain that today's video will show several families who spend
Why do some prescription medicines cost so much? Brainstorm a list
of possibilities on the blackboard or overhead projector. How do
people pay for expensive prescription medicines? If students suggest
that health insurance covers these costs, ask what those without
insurance would do. Explain that 1/3 of our nation has no health
Tell students that after viewing the video, they will be asked to
do a project with a partner. They will prepare a presentation as
if they were Dr. Fixit, appearing before the Congress of the United
States. Their charge is not only testifying about the problems of
the under- or uninsured, but most importantly giving suggestions
Suggest to students that they divide their note taking into the
Past attempts to create a federal, national health care plan. Why
did these attempts fail?
Current problems with health care coverage:
3. Medicare prescription coverage
Who is at risk?
What's happening in Congress now?
How do the presidential candidates propose to solve these problems?
Ideas for solving the problem of Americans with either no healthcare
insurance or not having enough.
The doctor during the Gilberts segment
2. Doctors talking about transplant problems
3. Near the end of the video, Dr. Murray again speaks of solutions
involving costly drugs and treatments.
4. After the Alicia segment, a woman doctor also offers possible
Their notes and the Web site list may be
used to research and develop a solution to the healthcare problems
plaguing our country.
Students view the video: "Healthcare Crisis: Who's At Risk?"
Students have at least two class days to research their topic and
prepare their "testimony."
Suggest that partners divide the research topics so as to do more
The Web site accompanying the video "Healthcare Crisis: Who's At
Risk" would be an excellent starting point. http://www.pbs.org/healthcarecrisis/
Students must type their "testimony" and finish it as homework.
attached rubric may be used to assess
students' "Congressional appearances" (this should be given to students
on the day they begin their research).
Cause of failure of past attempts at a National Health
Current problems 20
Who is at risk? 10
What's happening now:
Presidential candidates 10
My own 20
Solutions are possible and practical 10
Total possible points 100
Students may volunteer to share their presentations with the class
or numbers could be drawn to select presenters.
A class discussion following the "hearings" focusing on the merits
and/or drawbacks of the solutions proposed should also be held.
Members of the public health department, managed care administrator,
local insurance agents, parents and doctors might also be invited
to listen to the "hearings" and comment following the presentations.
Students might also encourage their parents and relatives to write
their legislators asking for a solution to the crisiss
Students themselves might write letters to their Congressmen or
to the editors of their local papers.
Certain students or groups of students might take on the role of
federal Medicare/Medicaid administrators, physician association
leaders, private insurance company lobbyists, senior citizens lobbying
groups, and other interested parties, preparing Congressional testimony
from a variety of perspectives.