1. Begin this lesson by discussing students' own experiences with the American health care system--what do they know about it, what do they perceive are its problems (if any), what do they think should be done to improve it.
2. With that discussion as a "snapshot" of where the students are in thinking about health care, give students time to explore the two web sites (below) called "International Health Care Comparisons," and "Comparing the U.S. Health Care System to Other Countries." Ask them to list what they perceive to be the biggest problems with our health care system.
3. Then, distribute copies of the Public Agenda Health Care Overview that you have printed from the web site below and have all students read it.
4. Discuss with the students the three positions on health care reform, making sure that they understand the basic position of all three.
5. Divide the class into three groups, assigning each group one of the three positions. If possible, it would be a good idea to see if the students' own opinions would fall "naturally" into these three positions and still create three groups of relatively equal size. If that works, fine; if not, assign people to groups.
5. Using the Public Agenda websites listed below (and others, as they see fit), ask each group to research its "position" on health care, paying particular attention to the arguments for and against each position.
6. Prior to the presentation of positions, discuss with students the general ideas of deliberative democracy, especially on the idea that this should not be just a debate, with winners and losers, but an opportunity for all sides to listen to other positions with care and appreciation, and then to try to negotiate a solution that-- even if it doesn't make everyone actually "happy,"--it has a chance of advancing the cause of health care reform.
7. Stage the deliberation on the three positions on health care reform. If students come up with other positions, great! Subdivide the groups and carry on!
8. The object is for the whole class to come up with a health care reform proposal to submit to Congress.