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Ex-UN secretary general censures US healthcare

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Ban Ki-moon, former UN secretary general(Photo by AFP)

Former United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon has denounced the United States’ healthcare system as being “unethical”, “unfair” and outright “wrong."

The South Korean politician said, “Nobody would imagine that there should be so many people – 30 million people – who would be left behind” in America.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian newspaper published on Tuesday, he insisted that not providing healthcare, especially in a rich countries like the US, was “unethical” and “politically wrong, morally wrong”.

Ban, who said as secretary general he had pledged to make the world a better place for all, highlighted the importance of universal health coverage.

He said it was still his duty and part of his work with The Elders -- a group founded by Nelson Mandela -- to tackle world problems, to address the issue of inadequate universal health coverage.  

“Nobody would understand why almost 30 million [American] people are not covered by insurance,” he noted.

The US lags behind almost a dozen other countries on measures of affordability, access, health outcomes, and equality between the rich and poor, according to a recent study.

Since US President Donald Trump came to power, an additional 4 million people have lost health coverage, according to the Commonwealth Fund.

“This is for the people. Leaders are elected because they vowed that they would work for the people,” said Ban. “They are abandoning people because they are poor, then these poor people cannot find a proper medical support.”

“It’s not easy to understand why such a country like the United States, the most resourceful and richest country in the world, does not introduce universal health coverage,” he said.  

Ban accused the “powerful” corporations of having prevented the US from moving towards universal healthcare.

Despite huge spending on health, millions in the US live entirely outside the health system.

Many poor Americans are uninsured and unable to go to pursue medical treatment for ailments, according to reports.

This image taken on June 25, 2018 shows squalid conditions of the homeless living on a street in downtown Los Angeles, California, USA. (Photo by AFP)

Trump had promised during his election campaign, and later as president, to introduce a new health system that benefited more Americans at a lower cost.

The US Senate, however, rejected his American Health Care Act (AHCA), also known as Trumpcare, fearing that it would make matters even worse. 

With the upcoming Congressional midterm elections in November, the future of public healthcare has become a determining factor for American voters.

Democrats have called for expansions of Obamacare, the current public health program, devised by the administration of former Democratic President Barack Obama. 

Analysts say if American voters choose the Democratic party candidates, and they gain majority in Congress, it would bring about the end of the Trump presidency.

Possibly when the Democratic Party gains majority in Congress, Trump will face impeachment.

For this reason, the elections are widely seen as a referendum on "Trump’s America".

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