ed broadly to include aspects such as cash benefits (in the form of pensions, social assistance, and maternity benefits), social services, and tax breaks with a social purpose. Social expenditure can be categorized into two; first, expenditures made directly by the government and secondly, private social expenditures made by non-government organizations (Arts and Gelissen 2002, p.175).
The term ‘welfare states’ describes societies in which a considerable part of the production of welfare is availed by the government; however, controversy still reigns within the academic circles of social policy on what essentially qualifies as a welfare state (Starke, Obinger and Castles 2008, p.975). There are four types of the welfare state systems mentioned in the literature of EU15 countries. These include the conservative model grounded in social contributions/the corporatist (Germany), the tax-financed Social-democratic welfare states with extensive public social security systems (Sweden), the neo-liberal market-based model (the U.S.), and the southern model (Spain, Greece) (Esping-Andersen 2002, p.2). The paper explores two models utilized in Sweden (the Scandinavian or social democratic universal welfare model) and Germany (Bismarckian/Continental European) and probes their impact on inequality and poverty, as well as on healthcare.
The post-war German settlement pursued the notion of a social state (social market economy). The first principle details economic development as the best means to attain social welfare. The structure of the social services mirrors this priority and embodies a close relationship of services to people’s position within the labour market. Social benefits are earnings-related, which means that individuals without work records may not be covered for significant contingencies. Germany’s corporatist welfare state infers the social insurance programs introduced by Bismarck, with eligibility for earnings-related benefits grounded in