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Is there a health-care problem in Western societies?

  • Enrico Colombatto

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    The recent crisis in public finance that has characterized most Western countries has stoked renewed interest in the possibility of reducing government expenditure by reforming the health-care system. After reviewing the origins of today’s state intervention in this field, the present paper argues that policy-makers will certainly strive to contain health-care of expenditure. Yet, it also claims that unless the ideological context that has favoured the birth and development of the current systems undergoes significant transformation, reform in this area is bound to remain elusive. In particular, the myth of social justice and the concept of human dignity need to be reassessed. The outcome of this process will determine to which extent state intervention in the health sector will lose its rent-seeking connotations, while increasing attention will underscore critical phenomena to which the principle of individual responsibility offers only limited solutions.

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    File URL: http://servizi.sme.unito.it/icer_repec/RePEc/icr/wp2011/ICERwp14-11.pdf
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    Paper provided by ICER - International Centre for Economic Research in its series ICER Working Papers with number 14-2011.

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    Length: 28 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:14-2011
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    1. Louis Putterman & John E. Roemer & Joaquim Silvestre, . "Does Egalitarianism Have A Future?," Department of Economics 96-09, California Davis - Department of Economics.
    2. Fleurbaey, Marc & Schokkaert, Erik, 2009. "Unfair inequalities in health and health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 73-90, January.
    3. Julian Le Grand, 2007. "Introduction to The Other Invisible Hand: Delivering Public Services through Choice and Competition
      [The Other Invisible Hand: Delivering Public Services through Choice and Competition]
      ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
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