Two Centuries of Solidarity: German, Belgian, and Dutch Social Health Care Insurance 1770-2008

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Karel-Peter Companje, Karel Veraghtert, Brigitte Widdershoven
Amsterdam University Press, 2009 - Medical - 393 pages

Health insurance is a key component of the current social security system in European Union countries. In most countries, modern health insurance funds and health care insurers are an essential role in implementing the public health insurance system. Many of these modern health insurance funds have a fascinating and long ancestry, clear traces of which can be seen today in the organisation of national health insurance, as well as the structure of health insurance funds and insurers.

In their study Two Centuries of Solidarity, the authors compare health insurance, health insurance funds and health care insurers in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Given the similar political, economic and social development that these countries have undergone in the past 60 years and the qualitatively high level of health care they provide, one might expect a degree of likeness in these countries' health care insurance systems. The dissimilarities are surprising, however. In fact, differences are becoming ever more apparent between the different national systems in general, and between the structure and operation of the health insurance funds and health care insurers in particular. Differences include the compulsory nature of insurance, the extent of cover, premiums, health insurance business, mutual competition, and the degree of private insurance.

Many of these national singularities can be understood and explained only by considering the historical background of the current national health insurance systems, the insurers, and their evolution over de past centuries. This study adopts an institutional and political perspective towards further understanding of the development of health insurance, and of how this ultimately determined the specific nature of the health care insurers and funds, and how they currently operate in the three countries studied.

 

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Contents

ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
7
TRANSLATIONS
11
INTRODUCTION
21
SOLIDARITY DURING THE ANCIEN R…GIME
29
Chapter II THE END OF THE GUILD SYSTEM 17891820
39
Chapter III THE BIRTH OF MODERN HEALTHINSURANCE FUNDS
45
Chapter IV HEALTH INSURANCE AS A GOVERNMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY 18501914
63
Chapter V WAR PEACE WAR 19141945
125
Chapter VI GROWTH AND ITS LIMITS 19452000
195
Chapter VII SOCIAL HEALTH INSURANCE AND NEOLIBERALREGULATED MARKET COMPETITION 20002008
287
ONE CONCEPT IN THREE COUNTRIES
349
TABLES AND CHARTS
375
BIBLIOGRAFIE
377
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Karel-Peter Companje is Head of the Knowledge Centre History of Social Health Insurance at the Free university Amsterdam. Karel Veraghtert is emeritus professor in history at Tilburg University. Brigitte Widdershoven is policy employee at the Technical University Delft.

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