English title: The Influence of Private Health Care Financing on Citizen Trust in Government

Author(s): Melanie Cammett - Julia Lynch - Gavril Bilev -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2015


Using individual - level data from the 2008 European Social Survey and country - level health care financing data we analyze the influence of private financing of health care on political trust in twenty - five European countries. Net of known predictors of trust at the individual and country level, we find that trust in government is significantly lower where the health system is financed to a greater degree by private sources. This negative relationship is the outcome of a multistep process: First, private financing amplifies the negative effect of exposure to risk on citizens’ evaluations of their health care systems. More negative evaluations of the performance of the health care system are in turn associated with significantly lower levels of trust in public institutions. The increasing pressure on European governments to privatize the financing of health care in the wake of the financial crisis is likely to have important political ramifications. When states do less to ensure the basic health care needs of members of society who are at greatest risk, these citizens may come to place less trust in government institutions. We end with discussion of the implications of these findings for the future of health care reform in the United States , and some suggestions for future research.

Volume: 13

Issue: 4

From page no: 938

To page no: 957

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1017/S1537592715002248

Journal: Perspectives on Politics

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