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UN Adopts 'Momentous' Resolution on Universal Healthcare

Health & Wellness  (tags: 'CIVILLIBERTIES!', 'HUMANRIGHTS!', HumanRights, humanrights, ethics, death, government, unitednations, UnitedNations, world, usa, health, healthcare, medicine, prevention, protection, society, safety )

- 1986 days ago -
General assembly urges countries to launch affordable healthcare systems that cover all their citizens

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JL A (281)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 8:27 am
UN adopts 'momentous' resolution on universal healthcare

General assembly urges countries to launch affordable healthcare systems that cover all their citizens

Mark Tran, Thursday 13 December 2012 08.26 EST

The UN's adoption of a resolution on affordable universal healthcare (pdf) was momentous, according to its advocates.

The resolution, adopted by consensus in the general assembly on Wednesday, urged member states to develop health systems that avoid significant direct payments at the point of delivery and to have a mechanism for pooling risks to avoid catastrophic healthcare spending and impoverishment.

There was unusually wide support for the resolution. It came from the global north and south, including the US, the UK, South Africa and Thailand. By gaining support from every corner of the globe, the resolution recognised enthusiasm for universal healthcare from diverse countries and economies, said the Rockefeller Foundation, which has funded research on universal health systems.

According to the foundation, 150 million people worldwide face high healthcare costs, which push around 25m households into poverty each year. More than 3 billion people have to pay for healthcare themselves, forcing many – particularly women and children – to choose between healthcare and education.

Ceri Averill, Oxfam's health policy adviser, said significant momentum around the vote had been building for the past two years, partly through the efforts of the World Health Organisation's director, Margaret Chan, and showed real public commitment to universal healthcare. "We can hold member states to account because of the resolution," she said.

For Averill and Jeanette Vega, managing director of Rockefeller, endorsement of the resolution means universal healthcare will now be on the agenda of the UN high-level panel – co-chaired by the UK prime minister, David Cameron, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia – discussing the post-2015 development goals.

"There have been lots of discussions of what health goals should be, for example on non-communicable diseases. This resolution gives weight to health systems as a whole and questions of equity. It ensures that universal healthcare stays on the agenda as one of the post-MDG goals," said Averill.

Supporting universal healthcare is one thing, funding it is another. As the UN delegate from Singapore, Lee Boon Beng, said: "The path to achieving universal health coverage is complex and there is no universal formula. Instead, member states should adopt different solutions to their unique circumstances."

Here the debate revolves on the use of highly contentious user fees, insurance or general taxation. For Averill the problem with user fees and insurance is that the poorest people will not be able to afford them. Citing Ghana, she said no matter how low the insurance premiums are set, these will be out of reach of the poorest people and contribute very little in terms of funding. Many Ghanaians work in the informal sector, for example as street vendors, which makes it difficult to collect premiums.

Thailand is held up as a pioneer in developing universal health coverage. The south-east Asian country introduced free universal healthcare at the point of delivery in 2002 and has shown the concept is not out of reach of middle-income countries. Around 99% of the Thai population is covered through a comprehensive healthcare package. It ranges from health prevention and primary care, to hospitalisation due to traffic accidents, to more expensive services such as radiotherapy and access to antiretroviral therapy treatment for people with HIV. Indonesia, the Philippines and China have rolled out insurance-based health coverage that includes almost their entire populations.

Poorer countries, however, will have to rely on external help to extend affordable healthcare. Zambia on Thursday said it has been steadily increasing spending on healthcare, which is treated as a fundamental human right, but will have to rely on foreign help. "External financing equally remains an important factor in Zambia's resource mobilisation," said the country's delegate, Dr Mwaba Kasese-Bota.

Past Member (0)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 8:33 am
Thanks for sharing.

JL A (281)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 9:14 am
You are welcome Marianne.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 9:19 am

GAWD BLESS YOU for posting this, Judi!


JL A (281)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 9:34 am
You are welcome Carole! I was especially glad to see the US as one of the supporters.

Edwin M (346)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 9:42 am
This is wonderful news JL what puzzles me is that it took so long for someone (Thank you President Obama) to implement it in our own Country. Thank you JL for the post and thank you Carole for the forward.

Elizabeth F (134)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 9:43 am
This is promising, all citizens of Earth should be covered by there governments. thanks for posting J and for the forward Carole :)

JL A (281)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 9:51 am
You cannot currently send a star to Edwin because you have done so within the last week.

Dee C (229)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 10:08 am
Fantastic to read..It's high time this took place..

Thanks J.Ll.. and thank you Carole for the forward..

JL A (281)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 10:17 am
It is indeed high time Dee! You are welcome.

Abo r (107)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 12:53 pm
Thanks JL A for posting this very important issue and Just C for forwarding.
Pray that they can do something for the sake of all and have HEALTH FOR ALL

JL A (281)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 12:55 pm
You are welcome Abo. This should at least start the conversations on how to make this happen instead of debating whether it should happen.

John B (185)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 1:14 pm
Thanks J.L. for the post. Glad that this has finally happened and that the US supported the resolution. Read and noted.

Pamylle G (461)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 1:22 pm
Great news - now to move toward Single-Payer in the U.S. !

JL A (281)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 1:25 pm
You are most welcome John--it is indeed "glad tidings." You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last week.

Sheryl G (363)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 2:11 pm
The sooner the better here in the USA......

A 2009 Harvard Medical School study found, for example, that “the uninsured are more likely to die than are the privately insured.” “Lack of health insurance,” that study found, “is associated with as many as 44,789 deaths per year in the United States, more than those caused by kidney disease.”

Dying For Coverage: The Deadly Consequences of Being Uninsured, also determined that more than 2,000 people die prematurely every month in the U.S. — 72 every day, three every hour. The report also found that from 2005 to 2010, “the number of people who died prematurely each year due to a lack of health coverage rose from 20,350 to 26,100.”

Preventable deaths, they die solely due to lack of medical coverage. This is disgusting to live in the Counry that claims to be the wealthiest in the world and allows this still to continue for it's citizens.


Jae A (316)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 2:40 pm
Great news and a plus for us in that our Presient has taken us one step closer to having one of the best systems around in the near future...all we need do now is to silence the rightwing extremist/Teabagger klan and their socialist rethoric with this "U.N." being a world wide effort now. Progress can continue for America as to this important issue for all Americans. Even for those who oppose it currently...Lucky for them that their ignorance/selfishness doesn't prevail over us all,so ta say.

JL A (281)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 2:51 pm
Thanks Dandelion for providing the data showing why the US recognized the need for the UN resolution and the baseline measures that must be improved by the next steps in health care reform until the numbers are zero.You cannot currently send a star to Dandelion because you have done so within the last week.
You correctly identify the primary factors that has the US still needing such a goal to become as moral as most of the world is so we can again claim moral leadership without hypocracy Jae. You cannot currently send a star to Jae because you have done so within the last week.


Pat B (356)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 2:54 pm
GREAT news.!!! It's about time too.!!! Thanks, J.L. for this. Passing on as well.

mar l ene dinkins (264)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 3:14 pm
noted !!!!thnx for the article ciao

JL A (281)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 3:20 pm
You are welcome Gran!
You cannot currently send a star to Marlene because you have done so within the last week.

. (0)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 3:30 pm
Hmmmm.... I'm taking a wait and see attitude on this. After all, the Rockefellers and certain members of the UN are also involved in the Lucius [Lucifer] Trust. More often than not the UN never delivers on its promises but it really likes your money.

JL A (281)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 4:27 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Michael because you have done so within the last week.

Evelyn Z (300)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 4:34 pm
Thanks J.L. and Carole for fwd

JL A (281)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 4:39 pm
You are welcome Lyn.

Yvonne White (229)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 5:12 pm
OMG! Now the RepubliCONs will really go nuts! The UN is dictating mandatory healthcare..*blubber,blubber, drool*!!!!!!!;) Kinda sad we finally got an "attempt" at it a couple of years before the UN asks the same of 3rd world countries..:(

JL A (281)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 5:21 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Yvonne because you have done so within the last week.

Michael C (217)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 6:09 pm
This is a great thing, and it makes sense, so I guess our Right Wing Republican Tea Bagger friends, will fight this with all they have..Yvonne, you are so correct...

JL A (281)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 6:24 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Michael because you have done so within the last week.

Gloria p (304)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 6:37 pm
What's wrong with the US? If you sick and you have no insurance and no money you may as well drop dead.

JL A (281)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 6:42 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Gloria because you have done so within the last week.

Angelika R (143)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 7:20 pm
Cannot currently send a star to JL either :(( Thank you for this!
Hopefully the days of "pay (if you can)or day" will soon be over!

JL A (281)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 7:21 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Angelika because you have done so within the last week.

Dorothy N (63)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 10:34 pm
Nobody should ever have to suffer or to die prematurely from a treatable condition because they lack money - the very thought is appalling and the reality, disgraceful.

Giana Peranio-paz (398)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 11:27 pm
We (Israel) already have general healthcare for all which is really wonderful and social and I am completely satisfied with its services. Let's hope others follow in our footsteps.

Vera Yuno (8)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 1:22 am
I hope it is true

Arild Gone for now (174)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 2:37 am
It's about time that the US adopt Universal health Care,thanks for the post JL and "C" for the fw.

Patricia E. G (54)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 4:26 am
Thank you so much for posting JL &
Just "C" for the forward.

Alexandra Rodda (180)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 4:39 am
So they should and i hope they hurry up about it!

Past Member (0)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 4:48 am
How can such a forward thinking nation have such a backward system of healthcare About time they did something about it

Angelika R (143)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 5:48 am
Typo correction: I meant of course "pay or DIE".. guess it figures..

JL A (281)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 8:06 am
You cannot currently send a star to Dorothy because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Giana because you have done so within the last week.
I think most of us figured out what you meant Angelika--but thanks for making sure.

Kamila A (141)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 4:09 pm
Its about time, but better late than never.

MarietteAWAY G (175)
Monday December 17, 2012, 4:08 am
Great news! Thanks J.L. and Carole!

Caitlin M (104)
Monday December 17, 2012, 10:44 am
This is wonderful news... better late than never! Now if only our US legislature will stop opposing the affordable healthcare that our President has managed to get through in this country. Thanks J.L. and Carole for forwarding.

Jill P (64)
Monday December 17, 2012, 4:47 pm
I don't understand why the US supported this resolution when our President is opposed to Universal healthcare. something is up.
The US should be the UN's first target for denying its citizens universal healthcare while taxing them for it. disgraceful.

JL A (281)
Monday December 17, 2012, 4:55 pm
Jill, Obama agreed to not have ACA be universal healthcare in exchange for GOP commitments to support ACA (the latter didn't happen as promised)--that doesn't mean he was opposed to it.

Judy C (97)
Monday December 17, 2012, 11:07 pm
This is an excellent idea. Thanks, J.L.

Judy C (97)
Tuesday December 18, 2012, 12:44 am
Let me clarify by saying that addressing the issue of access to quality and affordable healthcare for all in a global context is a very good idea. Globalization as a trend has been around for a long time, and placing universal healthcare on the agenda as a MDG is a logical move. As the article states, though, "Supporting universal healthcare is one thing, funding it is another". I do think it is a worthy goal.

JL A (281)
Tuesday December 18, 2012, 12:56 am
Thanks Judy--marvelous extraction of key elements as the driving principle for ascertaining and measuring progress! Sure wish enough time had passed so I could send you a green star!

Jill P (64)
Friday December 21, 2012, 5:03 am
Obama IS opposed to Universl healthcare. His first act in office was to take single payer off the table, along with Pelosi. No one made them do that. That was their own decisions..alone. He also had secret meetings with the CEOs of major insurance companies drafting this God awful Obomney Care. So yes, he IS opposed to the right to healthcare for all. He did not even try for single payer so the Republicans never even had a chance to stop it. So we need to put the responsibility on the person(s) responsible. Obama decided...alone..that Americans would not have single payer healthcare. That was one man opposing what the majority of Americans wanted. One man made that decision his frist month in office. So much for Democracy.

JL A (281)
Friday December 21, 2012, 9:25 am
Pelosi and Obama agreed to remove the universal care component when they were promised GOP votes to make it bipartisan if it were removed--those GOP members of Congress did not honor that commitment and it was late enough in the process that there would not have been time to revise to put it back in and get it enacted with that Congress Jill--and with those coming into office that Jan. it probably wouldn't have happened at all. The two of them had their trust violated when they tried to be bipartisan. Lay the blame where it belonged--on the GOP members who didn't vote as promised (and were trying to get more changes like on abortion and contraception once they got the negotiated compromise of not universal and Pelosi & Obama appropriately refused to trust or budge again).

Heidi Aubrey (16)
Tuesday December 25, 2012, 10:17 pm
I know Republicans everywhere cringed at this announcement.

JL A (281)
Tuesday December 25, 2012, 10:20 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Heidi because you have done so within the last week.

Jill P (64)
Wednesday December 26, 2012, 10:46 am
Then what were the secret meetings with corporate insurance CEOs? Did the GOP make him do that too?
Compromise is only when both sides get something. All we got was a conservative piece of junk that was proven an utter failure the same time he and Pelosi were pushing it. We got a piece of legislation that was written by the conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation and embraced by Romney where studies found it to be a failure in Massachusettes. So Obama and Pelosi siad "Good idea."
That is not a compromise. It is a corporate sell out. We need to put human beings in office.
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