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health law, film, teaching


In keeping with the Symposium theme, "The Mass Media's Influence on Health Law and Policy," this essay is designed to share my experience using clips from three recent popular films as a method of enhancing coverage and discussion of legal and policy issues surrounding the private health insurance system, and to provide some practical advice for others interested in doing the same. Specific topics include the erosion of employer-sponsored health insurance, continuation of private coverage under COBRA and HIPAA, public health care programs, physician incentives, the uninsured and access to care and legal remedies for claim denial. This essay builds upon a presentation that I gave along with Professors Timothy S. Hall and Ross D. Silverman at the 2004 Health Law Teachers Conference entitled "Health Law, Policy and Media," and was inspired by Professor Paul Bergman's entertaining and informative essay, "Teaching Evidence the 'Reel' Way." I am grateful to the Houston Journal of Health Law and Policy for the invitation to contribute to this issue.