Disentitlement? The Threats Facing Our Public Health-Care Programs and a Rights-Based Response

Disentitlement? The Threats Facing Our Public Health-Care Programs and a Rights-Based Response

Disentitlement? The Threats Facing Our Public Health-Care Programs and a Rights-Based Response

Disentitlement? The Threats Facing Our Public Health-Care Programs and a Rights-Based Response

Synopsis

No developed nation relies exclusively on the private sector to finance health care for citizens. This book begins by exploring the deficiencies in private health insurance that account for this. It then recounts the history and examines the legal character of America's public health care entitlements-Medicare, Medicaid, and tax subsidies for employment-related health benefits. Jost also examines the primary models for structuring health care entitlements in other countries-general taxation-funded national health insurance and social insurance-and considers what we can learn from these models.

Excerpt

This book joins the rather crowded field of those that describe the American health-care system and the health-care systems of other nations. in particular, it aligns itself with the many that contend that our nation should follow the path which all other wealthy nations have already taken toward providing universal health-care coverage. the book is different from the others, however, in several important respects, and thus it makes a new contribution.

First, it brings to bear on the problem of comparative health system analysis an awareness of law and of legal institutions. Health-care systems are not simply driven by economic incentives or political forces. They are also structured by law and overseen by legal institutions. Public health-care financing systems are created by statutes, governed by administrative agencies, and overseen by the courts. Private health-care financing systems are regulated by regulatory programs and bodies, with ultimate recourse to the courts. Because they do not focus on law and legal institutions, the disciplines of health politics and policy and of health economics, which form the framework for most recent volumes analyzing national health-care systems, are not sufficient in themselves to fully comprehend the nature of those systems.

Second, this book explores not only the legal structure of our own healthcare system but also the legal structure of the two primary alternative foreign models for structuring health-care systems: national health service, general rev-

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