Trends in the Distribution of Health Care Financing across Developed Countries: The Role of Political Economy of States

Source: Sule Calikoglu, International Journal of Health Services, Volume 39, Number 1, 2009
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From the abstract:
Since the 1980s, major health care reforms in many countries have focused on redefining the boundaries of government through increasing emphasis on private sources of finance and delivery of health care. Apart from managerial and financial choices, the reliance on private sources reflects the political character of a country. This article explores whether the public-private mix of health care financing differs according to political traditions in a sample of 18 industrialized countries, analyzing a 30-year period. The results indicate that despite common trends in all four political traditions during the study period, the overall levels of expenditure and the rates of growth in public and private expenditures were different. Christian democratic countries had public expenditure levels as high as those in social democracies, but high levels of private expenditure differentiated them from the social democracies. Christian democratic countries also relied on both private insurance and out-of-pocket payments, while private insurance expenditures were very limited in social democratic countries. The level of public spending increased at much higher rates among ex-authoritarian countries over the 30 years, bringing these countries to the level of liberal countries by 2000.

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