Is the Public Clueless about Health Care Reform?

Posted by on May 27, 2013

Health care reform has been a hot topic for quite some time now and the issue impacts all of us as students, employees and parents.Yet, the average person knows very little about what is happening inside of the health care industry. Why is that?

Health Care Management Program Chair, Michael Zdychnec, understands this dilemma and chose to challenge his Health Politics and Policy class this quarter with a comprehensive, and somewhat controversial, applied learning project that looks at this dilemma.

health care reform, health care managementFor the project, the health care management students were asked to interview four different individuals—some with health care industry experience and some without.

Once done questioning the individuals, the students educated them on what is actually going on in the health care sector, and gauged their responses.  

Questions asked focused on the general public’s knowledge of the health care system, the policy implications of health care reform, and the public’s opinion of what needs to occur to address the health care cost crisis we face today.

This proved to be an eye-opening experience for the students. 

“As expected, the students were surprised with how little the general public knows about what is going on with health care reform,” Zdychnec said.

Nick Stalberger, a student in the class, expressed his thoughts about the experience. 

“It was fun to watch an individual’s first opinion change based upon the information I provided them,” he said.

Since the goal of applied learning is cyclical, Zdychnec focused on the students having a well-rounded experience.  The projects not only served as a learning opportunity to the students, but also to the community members.

“In some cases students changed a person’s mind; in others they gave the person something to think about,” Zdychnec said. “And in one case they were able to provide some peace of mind to an individual who was scared to death about the health care issues she was dealing with.”

So the question remains, what do you know about health care reform?  

Written by Nicole Rasmussen, Applied Learning Coordinator, Minnesota School of Business-Elk River

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