This chapter considers two different ways of organizing revenue collection in statutory healthcare schemes: social health insurance and taxation. The two models are commonly referred to as ‘Bismarck vs Beveridge’ after the men associated with the origin of these systems: the first German chancellor Otto von Bismarck (1815–1898), and the British economist Lord William Beveridge (1879–1963). The differences between these two compulsory prepayment schemes are discussed and compared with private health insurance. Based on a simple diagram introduced by the World Health Organization, three dimensions of coverage are illustrated. Some policy dilemmas are highlighted when attempting to achieve universal health coverage. Finally, various combinations of public and private prepayment schemes are discussed.
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