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Inequality of Opportunity in Health Care in China: Suggestion on the Construction of the Urban-Rural Integrated Medical Insurance System

Ma, Chao and Song, Ze and Sun, Xuhui and Gu, Hai (2015): Inequality of Opportunity in Health Care in China: Suggestion on the Construction of the Urban-Rural Integrated Medical Insurance System.

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Abstract

This paper investigates the urban-rural inequality of opportunity in health care in China based on the theory of the EOp of Roemer (1998). Following the compensation principle proposed by Fleurbaey and Schokkaert (2011), this paper decomposes the fairness gap in the urban-rural health care utilization. The results shows that the ratios of the fairness gap to are 1.167 during 1997-2000 and 1.744 during 2004-2006. It implies that the degree of the essential inequity is underestimated. Meanwhile, upgrading the urban-rural reimbursement ratios is probably not sufficient to eliminate the inequality of opportunity in health care utilization between urban and rural residents. Under background of urban-rural dualistic social structure and the widening of urban-rural income gap, the pro-disadvantage policies will be more effective to promote the equality of opportunity in health care

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