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TECON 316 Current Issues in US Public Policy

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Spring 2019

Assignment:  Policy Paper 3


The Affordable Care Act (ACA) led to a noticeable reduction in the percentage of Americans without health insurance, while those percentages have once again grown as the Trump Administration has weakened many ACA provisions.  Address the question:  Was the ACA on the right track as a way to achieve universal health insurance in the US?  (Your answer to this question could be in the form of yes, no there is a better way, or some version of  these two.  You could also answer it by arguing that universal health insurance should not be a policy objective we pursue or prioritize.)

Your primary sources should be course material.  If you need to supplement, that is fine, but please don’t replace course readings with other readings.  Your Works Cited (or Reference) page should only include work cited in your paper.


Suggested Format

  1. Introduction/Background: Provide some framing for what topic you are addressing and why. If your audience needs some background, provide it.  Include one sentence summarizing what you argue.  1-2 para.
  2. Description of different opinions on the topic. Why is the topic controversial, and what are some different opinions about the topic?  Note this part should be fairly factual.  2-3 paragraphs
  3. Your analysis: Explain your opinion, and back it up with your reasoning, evidence, and support.  Be sure to include responses to people who disagree with you (2-3 pages). 
  4. Conclusion. One paragraph.

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Grading Rubric

TECON 316 Policy Paper



Needs Work


Intro and


Strong use of course information and concepts.   Excellent presentation of key differences.

Shows good comprehension of course materials, and identifies key differences.

Might show misunderstanding of course material, or misunderstanding of topic.  Differences may need developing.



Well articulated and reasoned.

Good ability to examine differences.

Reasoning could use some work.  Not easy to follow or understand.



Appropriate use of sources, with correct citation.

Good use of sources, may have a few problems with citation.

Sources not well documented, or not clearly related to the class.  Citation may be missing.



Writing is concise, precise and carefully constructed.  Writing also shows careful proofreading and is virtually error free.

Word choice and sentence syntax are appropriate, meaning is clear, has few grammatical and punctuation errors.

Meaning isn’t always clear, writing has numerous grammatical problems, and/or needs proofreading.



Policy paper RubricPolicy paper RubricCriteriaRatingsPtsThis criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeLanguageFull points: Concise, precise writing that is carefully constructed. Shows careful proofreading and is virtually error free.3.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeIntro and DescriptionFull points: strong use of course information and concepts. Good introduction and presentation of key differences.3.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAnalysis/EvaluationWell articulated and reasoned examination of issue, backed by evidence and other forms of support.5.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeSourcesFull points: Appropriate use of sources with correct citation.1.0 pts
Total Points: 12.0


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