Re-delimiting health care for migrants with irregular status in times of crisis. Spanish reform and counter-reform between symbolic politics, converging outputs and opposition from below’
Center for Ethnic and Migration Studies (CEDEM)
IMISCOE Spring Conference on ‘Migration and Social Protection in the European Union: Public Policies, Migrant Practices and the Politics of Welfare’., 28 februari 2019
Display more detailsDisplay less details
Onderzoekcentrum voor Staat en Recht
SubjectMigration and citizenship; Migratie & burgerschap (CMR)
Following the 2008 financial crisis, migrants’ entitlement to EU countries’ welfare and healthcare systems has become an increasingly controversial and conflictive issue in the political battlefield. The Spanish case is paradigmatic in this respect. Often praised for having the most inclusive healthcare system towards migrants in Europe, Spain’s welfare state expansion was suddenly reversed in 2012. By the RD 16/2012, the PP’s conservative government excluded migrants with irregular status from universal healthcare coverage, legitimating this turn with the need to cut health expenditure and stop ‘medical tourism’ in times of crisis. Soundly opposing this measure and promising to restitute universalism, one of the first measures of the new PSOE’s center-left government in 2018 has been to undo the policy reform of its predecessor. Nevertheless, universalism cannot be said to be back. Based on the analysis of legislative texts, policy documents and press articles in the period 2012-2018, we explore the changes in party positioning and policy measures vis-à-vis access to healthcare for migrants with irregular status (i.e. undocumented migrants and uninsured EU citizens). Our findings suggest that ideological differences concerning healthcare, migration and integration issues were overstressed to play symbolic politics. However, they mattered less for the policy outputs, which rather seem converging in practical terms. On the contrary, path-dependent practices and opposition from multiple venues played a central role in the policymaking process, shaping the courses of action established at the level of the state.
Upload full text
Use your RU credentials (u/z-number and password) to log in with SURFconext to upload a file for processing by the repository team.