Universal health care — sometimes referred to as universal health coverage, universal coverage, universal care or social health protection — usually refers to a health care system which provideshealth care and financial protection to all its citizens. It is organized around providing a specified package of benefits to all members of a society with the end goal of providing financial riskprotection, improved access to health services, and improved health outcomes. Universal health care is not a one-size-fits-all concept; nor does it imply coverage for all people for everything. Universalhealth care can be determined by three critical dimensions: who is covered, what services are covered, and how much of the cost is covered.
Germany has the world's oldest universal health care system,dating back to Otto von Bismarck's social legislation, which included the Health Insurance Bill of 1883, Accident Insurance Bill of 1884, and Old Age and Disability Insurance Bill of 1889. In theUnited Kingdom, the National Insurance Act 1911 marked the first steps there towards universal health care, covering most employed persons and their financial dependents and all persons who had beencontinuous contributors to the scheme for at least five years whether they were working or not. This system of health insurance continued in force until the creation of the National Health Service in 1948which extended health care security to all legal residents. Most current universal health care systems were implemented in the period following the Second World War as a process of health carereform, intended to make health care available to all, in the spirit of Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, signed by every country doing so. The US did not ratify the socialand economic rights sections, including Article 25's right to heal.
Universal health care in most countries has been achieved by a mixed model of funding. General taxation revenue is the primary...
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