The Social Legitimacy of Targeted Welfare
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The Social Legitimacy of Targeted Welfare

Attitudes to Welfare Deservingness

Edited by Wim van Oorschot, Femke Roosma, Bart Meuleman and Tim Reeskens

This book addresses new perspectives on the perceived popular deservingness of target groups of social services and benefits, offering new insights and analysis to this quickly developing field of welfare attitudes research. It provides an up-to-date state of the art in terms of concepts, theories, research methods and data. The book offers a multi-disciplinary view on deservingness attitudes, with contributions from sociology, political science, media studies and social psychology. It links up with central welfare state debates about the allocation of collective resources between groups with particular needs, and wider categories of need.
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Chapter 13: Healthcare Deservingness Opinions of the General Public and Policymakers Compared: A Discrete Choice Experiment

Maartje van der Aa, Mickaël Hiligsmann, Aggie Paulus and Silvia Evers


Since the first half of the twentieth century, European states have guaranteed access to healthcare for all or a great many of their inhabitants through social healthcare arrangements. These provide (universal) access to health services that might otherwise be unaffordable for many individuals (Kornai and Eggleston, 2001, pp. 17–23). Social arrangements embody a strong sense of solidarity and they all have in common the requirement that every citizen contributes, though only some will need support. Essentially, these are redistributive arrangements in which, simply stated, ‘the rich pay for the poor’ and ‘the healthy pay for the unhealthy’. Social arrangements reflect a bond of shared responsibility (Bayertz, 1999), which is characteristic of nearly all countries on the European continent.

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