4.Review the main features of TWO welfare reforms passed by the post war Labour government 1946-1951 - Essay Example

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Due to this realization, the Post war government in the United Kingdom created welfare reforms that assisted those individuals in specific need. Following the…
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4.Review the main features of TWO welfare reforms passed by the post war Labour government 1946-1951
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From the Womb to the Tomb: Welfare of 1946-1951 Following World War II, the world noticed a dramatic decrease in the wages that many individuals were receiving. Due to this realization, the Post war government in the United Kingdom created welfare reforms that assisted those individuals in specific need. Following the atrocities during World War II, the United Kingdom wanted to ensure that its people were safe and relatively healthy. The real catalyst to the welfare state was created by the Beveridge Report which was written during the height of the war. In it, the report really emphasized that all people should live in a socially secure country, even if war was being waged all around. There were two main reforms that are still impacting the United Kingdom are the National Health Service and the National Insurance Act, both of 1946.
The National Health Service (NHS) was a major achievement not only for the Labour government but also for the nation as a whole. This program allowed free medical treatment for everyone, not just the 21 million people who were covered by the National Health Insurance, the predecessor to the NHS. (Leichter 1979, p. 158) This program which was finally rolled out in 1948 was at first vehemently opposed by the majority of doctors who believed that this form of health coverage would end up ruining medical practices. The doctors who were originally opposed soon realized that their fears were unjustified and joined the ranks of those assisting the needy.
The other major reform was the National Insurance Act which came into effect soon after World War II was officially over combined three already established insurance schemes into one. These three covered unemployment insurance, national health insurance, and the contributory pension. When the Act was put into place, it became necessary for all of the adult population to carry insurance, which was subsidized by the government and employers. (Barr 1993, p. 3) This ensured that all those of working age could receive care, therefore enabling more productivity.
While not without issue, these two acts really changed the focus of how the United Kingdom saw assistance, and how individuals received it. Due to the recent conflict, the nation had already established a family allowance which in combination with the National Insurance Act and the National Health Service covered close to 100% of the population which was intended by the Labour Government as well as the driving force for the National Health Services, Aneurin Bevan. (Rintala 2003, p. 3) Although many liked the care, it was Bevan who was the first individual to leave his position due to a disagreement regarding dental coverage. Bevan wanted everything to be free, not on a sliding scale which the NHS was forced to do in 1950 due to depleting resources.
The United Kingdom’s revolutionary vision regarding standardized health care and assistance paved the way for many other countries attempts. However, there are few that can say they assist as many individuals in as many elements of life as the Labour Government can. Although this is a different political atmosphere, there are many elements that still exist in modern day Great Britains health care system.
Works Cited
Barr, N. A. The Economics of the Welfare State. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993.
Leichter, Howard M. A comparative approach to policy analysis: Health care policy in four nations.
Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 1979.
Rintala, Marvin, Creating the National Health Service: Aneurin Bevan and the Medical Lords. London:
Frank Cass Publishers, 2003. Read More
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