Universal health care Information

Universal health care is health care coverage for all eligible residents of a political region and often covers medical, dental and mental health care. Typically, costs are borne in the majority by publicly-funded programs.

Universal health care is policy in all industrialized countries and in many developing, nonindustrialized countries. However, the United States does not currently have a universal health care system, but 2010 legislation will implement a near universal health care insurance system in 2014.

Germany has the world's oldest universal health care system, with origins 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 Britain, 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 been continuous 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 1948 which 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 deliberate healthcare reform, 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 social and economic rights sections, including Article 25's right to health.

Wikipedia, Universal health care, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_health_care (as of Apr 3, 2010)

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