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The popular legitimacy of European healthcare systems: A multilevel analysis of 24 countries

Missinne, Sarah, Meuleman, Bart, Bracke, Piet, (2013), “The popular legitimacy of European  healthcare systems: A multilevel analysis of  24 countries”, Journal of European Social Policy, Vol. 23, Issue 3, July 2013, p.p,  231-247

This paper provides an empirical study of the between-individual and between-country differences in the popular legitimacy of European healthcare systems. In order to explain two dimensions of popular legitimacy (satisfaction and support for state responsibility), we assess the impact of self-interest motives (income and personal health), ideology (egalitarianism) and institutional arrangements (level of service provision, and private and government health expenditure). For this purpose, data from the European Social Survey Round 4 (ESS-4, 2008–2009) are analysed by means of multilevel models. Universal high support for state responsibility is found, while satisfaction varies considerably, with particularly low levels found in Eastern European and former Soviet Union countries. It appears that individuals are not guided by self-interest motives and ideology alone. In addition to these factors interacting, the results suggest that state-provided healthcare might be in everyone’s interest. Introducing a patient perspective could advance our understanding of healthcare legitimacy.