Enacting the National health Insurance Law: Why in 1994?
Author: Bruce Rosen, Gabi Bennun
August 16, 2007
In 1930, the General Worker’s Union (Histadrut Ha’Ovdim) gave the British Mandatory Government a recommendation for legislation of national health insurance. They rejected it. Over the years, many committees made recommendations regarding health reform.
The legislation regarding national health insurance is among the most important pieces of social legislation of the past decade. Until its ratification in 1994, there were no fewer than 15 propositions, some put forward by the government and some as private initiatives (by Knesset members from different parties). Why did all the previous initiatives fail and what was particular about the latest bill that it passed? No single factor led to the necessity to change the “rule of the game” when it came to health care and the healthcare system. The combination of a crisis with the possible solution form the Natanyahu Commission’s recommendations as well as changing political conditions, macro-economic developments and the “winds of reform” that blew at the time, all contributed to 1994 being the right time for health legislation and reform.
This paper appears as a chapter in the book Formulating Social Policy in Israel, Uri Aviram, Johnny Gal and Yosef Katan (editors).
This paper is in Hebrew only.