Have students research their congressional representatives’ or senators’ position on health care reform. They should then write one of them a letter expressing their views on the deal-making process that took place during the negotiations for health care reform. Use Write Your Representative or Senators of the U.S. Senate to facilitate the letter-writing process. Or have students write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper about their views on the negotiations process during health care reform.
Ask students to select a bill of interest and track its progress through Congress. Students can check sites such as Govtrack.us or Congress.org for information or access proposed legislation at Thomas.gov. Have students set up a blog or another discussion tool to explore issues surrounding the bill.
Conduct a media analysis activity by having the class review how a variety of news organizations covered heath care reform or other legislation. Students should use media examples to document the similarities and differences in reports and evaluate if coverage is favorable or unfavorable toward specific newsmakers. Ask students to comment on how such reporting colors Americans’ perception of the legislative process.
Have students simulate health care negotiations with all constituents at the table. Small student groups can role-play lobbyists for the pharmaceutical companies and the health insurance industry, health care activists, Republican and Democratic legislators and the Obama administration.