The Government, not individuals, should be responsible for healthcare and Welfare Provision. Discuss. (20 marks)
The question of who is responsible for healthcare and welfare provision is a complex one and there is a range of theories and approaches. Some believe that the government should be responsible - and so, call for a collectivist approach. Such advocates would argue that it is the responsibility of the government to concern itself and intervene when it comes to matters of Welfare. Others would argue on behalf of Individualist approaches which focus on the importance of self-help, self sufficiency and individual responsibility. In more recent times, there has been an uprise advocates have emerged who argue in favour of using elements of both approaches. Therefore clearly it is critical that all approaches should be examined in order to determine whether Health and Welfare provision should be the responsibility of the government.
Firstly. collectivists value and argue on behalf of the principals of the welfare state. the welfare state was created on the basis of government intervention providing it would be equal, comprehensive and universal. as a product of the Second World War - The welfare state was a collectivist effort set out to tackle Beveridge’s 5 giant evils. Schemes were funded through National Insurance contributions and every citizen, regardless of income and social standing, would receive government support from ‘the cradle to the grave.” Today, the welfare state and collectivists in favour of it maintain the argument that the government should continue to provide to intervene and provide healthcare and Welfare provisions through the NHS and benefits schemes. Collectivist policies that seek to improve health would be the protection of the NHS, the smoking ban and free prescriptions for all. Moreover, Collectivist policies related to Welfare provision include the governments responsibility to create to create jobs, reduce unemployment, ensure state housing is available for those in need and maintaining a fair system of benefits for those out of or unable to work. However, the collectivist approach has often been criticised for provoking a “dependency culture”in the UK, with citizens too reliant on state benefits and no interest in working. Moreover, as a result of collectivist policies the NHS has become a victim of its own success as ultimately, improving health has extended the average life expectancy and Britains ageing population require more medical treatment. Overall, collectivists would argue that it is only through a collectivist effort rage social problems relating to health and welfare provision can be tackled.
Additionally, individualists would adopt the opposite view and essentially flip the principals of the Welfare State on its head. Advocates for individualism, such as Margaret Thatcher who led the conservative government (1979-1992), believe in individual responsibility and reduced government interventi...