302.610.01 | AY 2013-2014 - 3rd Term | 3 Credit(s)
WF 1:30:00 PM
  • Contact Information
    W. David Helms
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Explain the evolving roles of both the national and state governments in health and health care and how changing interpretations of federalism have influenced the allocation of responsibilities between these levels of governments
    • Assess how state capabilities and policy preferences of state political leaders and citizens have affected progress in implementing state health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act
    • Analyze how specific health reforms might be implemented in a given state context
    • Assess how research and analysis contributes to policy making at the state level
  • Course Description

    Acquaints participants with the critical role states play in developing and implementing policies that affect both health and health care. Reviews how the role of states has evolved within the US federal system of government where states and the national government both have significant responsibilities. Drawing upon the experience of implementing the health insurance exchanges in Maryland, Washington D.C., and Alabama, participants assess how state differences affect the implementation of a major new national health program--the Affordable Care Act.

  • Intended Audience

    Masters and doctoral students looking to study the role that states play in developing and implementing policy that affect health and health care.

  • Methods of Assessment

    Class participation (20%), Individual policy paper (50%) group exercise (30%)

  • Required Text(s)

    Federalism and Health Policy by Joshua M. Wiener, John Holahan, Alan Weil (2003)

    American Federalism in Practice by Michael Doonan (2013)

    (Note: Both texts are also available for purchase at


    Optional Background Text:

    Health Politics and Policy, 5th Edition by James A. Marone and Daniel Ehlke, Cengage Learning (2013)

  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

    NOTE: The course syllabus posted under "Class Materials and Resources" contains a complete and up-to-date schedule.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Contact Information

    W. David Helms, PhD

    Emily Adrion, MSc (Course TA)

  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at