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Publicly funded health care is a form of health care financing designed to meet the cost of all or most health care needs from a publicly managed fund. Usually this is under some form of democratic accountability, the right of access to which are set down in rules applying to the whole population contributing to the fund or receiving benefits from it. The fund may be a not-for-profit trust which pays out for health care according to common rules established by the members or by some other democratic form. In some countries the fund is controlled directly by the government or by an agency of the government for the benefit of the entire population. This distinguishes it from other forms of private medical insurance, the rights of access to which are subject to contractual obligations between an insurer and an insurance company which seeks to make a profit by managing the flow of funds between funders and providers of health care services. When taxation is the primary means of financing health care, and sometimes with compulsory insurance, all eligible people receive the same level of cover regardless of their financial circumstances or risk factors. (via Freebase)