Discussion Guides

Health Care Questions: Be Informed, Speak Up, Act Lesson Plan (Grades 6–8)

  • Grades: 6–8

This article is part of the "Be Informed, Speak Up, Act" lesson plan.

Policymakers and citizens of the United States have considered how to make the highest quality healthcare available to all citizens. Many people purchase health insurance. This typically means that they pay a certain amount of money per month to an insurance company, whether or not they need medical care. If these people do need medical care, the insurance company typically pays a large part of the expenses for them. Since medical care can be very expensive, health insurance can save people a great deal of money.

1. Many Americans receive health care benefits from their employers. Some people pay for their insurance themselves. A significant number of people are uninsured, which means that they do not have insurance, for a variety of reasons. Many people simply can't afford health insurance. However, when these people do need medical care, they often cannot afford to pay for it. Sometimes this means that they can't get it. There are many ideas about how to change the American health care system in order to reduce the overall costs of care and to let more people have access to quality care.

  • Does government have a role and responsibility to address health care issues?

  • Should the primary responsibility for individual health care coverage rest with government or individuals?

  • What are some of the policy solutions that people have developed to address the issue of providing insurance coverage for uninsured people? Describe several proposed solutions.

  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of some of the proposed plans?

2. Some people say that the United States should develop a national health care system as a solution to some of the problems facing the current American health care system. A national health care system might use tax money to pay for health care for all Americans. People would likely have to pay more money in taxes to support this program.

  • What are some of the benefits of a national health care system?

  • What are some of the drawbacks of such a system?

  • What are the benefits of the American health care system as it currently exists?

  • What are the drawbacks of our current system?

3. Whether or not to reform Medicare, a government program to support elderly people who do not have health insurance, is an important health care policy issue. The country's elderly population is rising and medical costs for the elderly are rising as well, causing some to say that the Medicare program needs to be changed.

  • What should government's role and responsibility be regarding health care for the elderly?

  • What are some of the solutions people have developed to address Medicare's rising costs?

  • What are some of the benefits of the solutions you have identified?

  • What are some of the drawbacks of the solutions you have identified?

  • What services for the elderly, if any, should your local community be responsible for? Explain your rationale.

  • Subjects:
    Social Studies, Health and Safety, Politics, United States