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What are the differences between social policy and social welfare policy?

The difference between social policy and social welfare policy is subtle but significant. Social policy refers to a broader area that impacts people. For example, a government might have a social policy about healthcare. However, that social policy might exclude some citizens. That's where social welfare policy comes in. In America, not everyone can afford health insurance, so there is the existence of social welfare policy like Medicaid, where the government helps people pay for insurance and treatment.

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There are many differencesboth big and smallbetween social policy and social welfare policy. We might think of social policy as the broad and more general term under which social welfare policy lives.

For example, professor Peter Taylor-Gooby says social policy "focuses on human need and what governments and other bodies can do to meet it." He also says, "Social policy is concerned with welfare."

So we can say that social policy and social welfare are linked. But how can we separate them?

Again, let's think of social policy as the more abstract, general term. A government might have certain social policies concerning education, healthcare, employment standards, and so on.

Let's look at one specific example: the United States' healthcare policies. In America, through your job or through yourself, you are supposed to pay for health insurance so that if you get sick and have to go to a hospital you have someone to help you pay your bill.

Of course, this social policy leaves people out....

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