This book deals with the quest for a divided welfare state in Sweden. The prime example is the rapid rise of private health insurance, which now constitutes a parallel system characterized by state subsidies for some and not for others. This functions as a kind of reverse means-testing, whereby primarily the upper classes get state support for new types of welfare consumption. Innovatively, Lapidus explains how such a parallel system requires not only direct and statutory state support but also indirect support, for example, from infrastructure built for the public health system. He goes on to examine how semi-private welfare funding is dependent on private provision and how the so-called 'hidden welfare state' gradually erodes the visible and former universal welfare state model, in direct contrast to its own stated goals.
Who benefits from privatized welfare? How are the privatization of delivery and the privatization of funding linked? How does this impact public willingness to pay tax? All of these questions and more are discussed in this accessible volume.
John Lapidus got his PhD in 2015 at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and since then has been involved in a research project funded by the Torsten Söderberg Foundation. Before his academic career, Lapidus was involved in international cooperation, including working as the head of a small Swedish NGO in Nicaragua between 2006 and 2008. He has written two novels about his experiences in Zimbabwe and Nicaragua, and also worked as a journalist for several years.
Chapter 1: The divided welfare state.- Chapter 2: To buy ahead.- Chapter 3: Private provision and private funding.- Chapter 4: State as sponsor.- Chapter 5: Half private healthcare.- Chapter 6: Half private elderly care.- Chapter 7: Half private education.- Chapter 8: Relieve or hollow out.- Chapter 9: A farewell to trust and tax willingness.- Chapter 10: A spiral of rising costs.- Chapter 11: A burden for the common.- Chapter 12: Rhetoric and practice.- Chapter 13: The ambivalent actors.- Chapter 14: Right or commodity.- Chapter 15: The twisted debate.- Chapter 16: Future funding of welfare.- Chapter 17: A choice between two models.