In 1988, in the context of the re-democratization of Brazil after an authoritarian period, a new Federal Constitution promoted an institutional rupture in the hitherto valid frameworks of health policy, whose origin and expansion until then had been prioritized by the means of insurance restricted to workers inserted in the formal labor market. The constitution has defined principles and guidelines for a reform informed by a publicist perspective and by a conception of health as the right of everyone and the duty of the state, with the corollary of universalization and equality. For this, the unique health system was created. The chapter aims to describe the construction and evolution of the universal health system of Brazil and its results and perspectives. The construction of the universal system from a segmentation legacy, considering the argument that the previous policies defined constraints for the subsequent institutional development, is portrayed. After that, the evolution of the health system and its results and political, financial, and institutional difficulties, also considering the institutional characteristics derived from Brazilian federative institutions, has been discussed. Finally, the country’s current political scenario is presented, which points to a new cycle of social policies, including health policy, in the sense of restricting spending and rights.
Part of the book: Universal Health Coverage