Skip to main content

The Beveridge Model

William Beveridge
Want is only one of the five giants on the road of reconstruction and in some ways the easiest to attack. The others are Disease, Ignorance, Squalor, and Idleness. 
-Social Insurance and Allied Service, a.k.a. The Beveridge Report (1942)
In 1940, Great Britain tottered on the edge of extinction. Its armies badly mauled by the Wermacht in France, its cities absorbing a ferocious shellacking from the Luftwaffe, and the United States still over a year from entering World War II, the British government in an act of supreme optimism began making plans for post-war life on the assumption that it would prevail over both Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan.

There was little doubt that the aftermath of two world wars and an economic depression would wrought profound changes on British life. The working- and middle-class men who had fought the wars would insist on taking charge, and the heretofore dominant patricians admitted that they had a point. Prime Minister Winston Churchill appointed noted economist and social reformer Sir William Beveridge to define a paradigm for the brave new world; Beveridge's effort changed the face of Europe.

Social Insurance and Allied Service, published in 1942 and also known as the Beveridge Report, became the blueprint for the postwar British welfare state. A bestseller in its day, the report was distributed to British troops despite an aborted attempt by Churchill to suppress it until after the war. Wildly popular across the political spectrum, the post-war implementation of the Beveridge Report became a foregone conclusion.

While it focused mainly on social insurance -- what Americans think of as Social Security -- the report also articulated the right of anyone to receive health care on the basis of clinical need regardless of ability to pay, and gave rise to a health care system known as the Beveridge Model. While the term "socialized medicine" is often used carelessly and inaccurately, the Beveridge Model is in fact socialized medicine: A health care system owned and operated by government.

Today, the Beveridge Model is applied by Cuba, Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. With the exception of Cuba, all are capitalist democracies that have decided to remove the profit motive from health care on the grounds that it compromises equity and efficiency.

While the model is implemented differently in each country, it operates on the basis of a set of one or more common characteristics:
  • Health care is a human right, not a privilege
  • Government ownership and operation of health care
  • National government responsibility for delivery of equitable and efficient health care
  • Full access to all regardless of ability to pay
  • Primary care physician as gatekeeper to the rest of the system
One misconception about the Beveridge countries is that the costs of providing expansive health care for all residents have been prohibitive and bankrupting. The following table shows that Beveridge Model countries deliver health care efficiently and with great effect:

As a whole, Beveridge Model countries spend a lower percentage of GDP on health care than any other nation. Why? Because the Beveridge Model is tax-based and not insurance-based, the governments of those countries have great incentive to emphasize the biggest bang for the health care buck, that being preventive care. As a result, Beveridge Model countries tend to have robust public health programs (Finland is one of two countries to reverse the obesity epidemic plaguing the developed world) and a strong emphasis on primary care. (Seventy per cent of British doctors are PCPs as opposed to 30% in the United States.) Primary care contributes to better outcomes, increased use of preventive services, fewer hospitalizations, reductions in overall costs, fewer hospitalizations, and less use of emergency departments.

All approaches to health care have tradeoffs, and the Beveridge Model is no exception. Welfare state values that call for a high level of social services also mean higher taxes. The emphasis on efficiency often results in less choice for patients, and broad service offerings tend to concentrate in urban areas. While doctors receive free education, have little administrative burden, and are almost never sued for malpractice, they are also salaried and earn less than their American counterparts. Equal access and the emphasis on primary care can translate into long wait times for non-acute secondary and tertiary care. Finally, the imperative to hold down costs means that the newest technologies are not easily available.

Converting the United States to the Beveridge Model -- and there's little reason to believe that the American people want this -- means eliminating the health insurance business, making virtually all physicians salaried government employees, tightening the regulatory screws on pharmaceutical companies, and establishing wholly new government bureaucracies at the federal, state, and local levels. In the absence of a complete societal breakdown, American history suggests that this degree of systemic change requires a sustained nationwide mass movement of at least 8-10 years. Given the undesirability of the former and the unlikelihood of the latter, it's most productive to think of the Beveridge Model in terms of what can be gained from it.

So while opponents of socialized medicine can rest easy, there are nonetheless lessons to be drawn from the Beveridge countries:
  • The value of a national health policy to provide guidelines and direction for federal response to national health issues
  • The importance of a strong public health program (at all levels of government) to preventive health and reduced costs
  • The key role of primary care, again in prevention and efficient allocation of health care resources
Later, HealthMatters will look in detail at the health care systems of Beveridge Model countries.

Popular posts from this blog

Puas Rental dan Sewa Mobil Di Area Cirebon

Puas Rental Mobil Cirebon . Puas Rent car ialah perusahaan transportasi penyedia layanan rental mobil di Cirebon. Puas Rent Car ialah bagian dari perusahaan Puaspark – taman rekreasi keluarga sangat terjangkau di Cirebon Timur. Kami pun melayani lokasi Bekasi sampai Seluruh Cirebon. Armada kami ialah mobil-mobil dalam situasi terawat dan pun mobil-mobil keluaran baru. Dengan opsi mobil yang kami sediakan paling variatif dan harga yang paling kompetitif di Cirebon.
Contact Puas Rental Mobil

Bagi Kami Kepuasan Konsumen nomer Satu..
Untuk Pemesanan klik Rental Mobil Avanza Di Area Cirebon
Karena Disitu Adalah Website Resmi Dari Puas Rental Mobil Cirebon

Puas Rent Car Cirebon menawarkan guna Anda seperti: Avanza. Kami melayani penyewaan mobil guna harian maupun bulanan. Kami meluangkan supir. kita juga dapat menyewa mobil-mobil kami tanpa supir.

Menjadi perusahaan transportasi penyedia jasa penyewaan mobil yang handal. Menjadi parner transportasi terbaik Anda. Terdepan melayani sewa / ren…

The Food Allergy Herbal Formula-2 (FAHF-2) Laundry List

So in all the time I've been writing about our experience with FAHF-2, I have never done a comprehensive post with all the links/info I've found over the years. Consider the situation rectified! I'll add to this as I find new sources. If you have good ones, please feel free to add them to the comments as well.

My FAHF-2 Posts
FAHF-2 Trials In Chicago!

We're In

BTDT, Got the FAHF-2 Food Allergy Clinical Trial T-Shirt

Brief FAHF-2 Update

Halfway There...But the Second Half Is All Uphill

FAHF-2: The Holy Grail?

Waiting in the Wings for the Show to Begin

FAHF-2 Clinical Trial Summary

Other People's FAHF-2 Experiences (from around the web)Chinese pharmacy vs. through Dr. Li

For severe eczema/MRSA

New York Times article

For asthma (Vitality magazine)

An asthma patient's personal experience

Description of Dr. Li's treatment plan

What Is FAHF-2?Patent application (contains all ingredients)

Phase 1 Clinical Trial Report (has very specific info about formula ingredients)

Yellow Empero…

inaugural post

The Starker Arts Garden for Education finally has its very own blog. There's so much happening out at the garden that we just couldn't keep all the news from you any longer!

Stay tuned to this blog for updates on SAGE, upcoming event info, sustainable gardening tips, and other good grub fresh from the garden!  Feel free to subscribe to our blog by entering your e-mail address into the "Follow by E-mail" bar to the right.