Health Service Funding - by Taxation or Insurance?



Calls are coming from all parts of the political spectrum, including the Liberal Democratic party, to fund healthcare from insurance rather than general taxation. There is no real advantage for insurance except as an add-on to tax based funding.

In both insurance and tax based funding the risk of any individual being required to pay for health care is spread among a wider social group.

The crucial difference is that in the case of private insurance, non-contributors are excluded from receiving healthcare - a situation that is simply not compatible with any reasonable definition of civilisation.

The only reason to go for private insurance based funding is that it further brings the NHS towards a state when it can be turned into a collection of American style "Health Maintenance Organisations".

The Americanisation the our healthcare services is demanded by the General Agreement of Trade in Services as part of the globalisation of the market. Both the wasteful Tory health reforms and the current Labour NHS upheavals are steps along this path - and now the LibDems are hitching their cart to the globalisation express. We live in a political monoculture, where anything goes so long as you do not mention what is really going on.


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© 2001 R. Lawson This page was last updated on 22.3.03