Universal healthcare is often known as universal care or health coverage; usually referring to a given health care system that is responsible for the provision of health care, as well as financial protection (health-related) to all citizens present. Organized within a given…
To be noted is that as a concept, universal health care does not simply imply the coverage of individuals for all risks i.e. one-size-fits-all conceptualization. Rather as Navarro (1989) portrays, it is determined by three fundamental dimensions – those covered; services that are covered, and what amount of total costs (accrued), are covered.
Health care systems are in a majority of states funded through mixed models of funding. Generally, revenues accrued from taxation do compose the primary funding source, with most countries supplementing the revenues with specific levies. This is essentially by way of a mix of private and public contributions thereby ‘spreading’ the costs over a larger population. Compulsory insurance is a key avenue of enhancing universal healthcare, usually enforced by way of legislation in given jurisdictional arenas. This may thereafter, necessitate citizens to purchase their insurance; but in many cases (in effect), it is the government that provides such insurance, as part of its social welfare responsibilities. Examples of compulsory insurance contexts are exemplified by both the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Swiss Healthcare system.
In the U.S., the crusade for some form of universal healthcare (government-funded) is traceable to the 20th Century with advocacy of the same facing different obstacles despite close success. While other developed states had initiated some form of social insurance, proponents in the U.S. continued facing hurdles, especially as a result of the federal government (then), leaving each state to its own doing. The different states in turn left such matters to voluntary and/ or private programs, based perhaps on the lack of national legislation. It is however during the Progressive Era that major undertakings took place, with reformers working on enhancing social conditions for the growing working class (Navarro, 1989). Unlike ...
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