Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fwd: qotd: United Nations passes resolution supporting universal coverage

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-------- Original Message --------
Subject: qotd: United Nations passes resolution supporting universal
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2012 06:05:05 -0800
From: Don McCanne <>
To: Quote-of-the-Day <>

The Hill
December 12, 2012
US backs United Nations measure in favor of universal health coverage
By Elise Viebeck

The United States has backed a United Nations draft resolution favoring
universal healthcare coverage.

The nonbinding measure calls on U.N. member states to ensure citizens'
access to health insurance, and was approved by the U.N. General
Assembly on Wednesday.


United Nations
General Assembly
December 12, 2012
Adopting Consensus Text, General Assembly Encourages Member States to
Plan, Pursue Transition of National Health Care Systems Towards
Universal Coverage

Recognizing the intrinsic role of health in achieving international
development goals, the General Assembly today – through the unanimous
adoption of a resolution on global health and foreign policy –
encouraged Governments to plan or pursue the transition towards
universal access to affordable and quality health-care services.

By that text, the Assembly, calling for more attention to health as an
important cross-cutting policy issue, urged Member States, civil society
and international organizations to incorporate universal health coverage
in the international development agenda and in the implementation of the
internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium
Development Goals.

The Assembly also recognized that improving social protection towards
universal coverage "is an investment in people that empowers them to
adjust to changes in the economy and the labour market and helps support
a transition to a more sustainable, inclusive and equitable economy".
As such, while planning or pursuing the transition towards universal
coverage, Member States were encouraged to continue investing in
health-delivery systems to increase and safeguard the range and quality
of services and meet the health needs of their populations.

Further, Member States were encouraged to recognize the links between
the promotion of universal health coverage and other foreign policy
issues, such as the social dimension of globalization, inclusive and
equitable growth and sustainable development.


United Nations
General Assembly
Sixty-seventh session
Agenda item 123

Global Health and Foreign Policy

IV. Universal health coverage

56. Universal health coverage captures the aspiration that everyone will
be able to obtain the high-quality health services they need without the
risk of suffering severe financial hardship when using them. The goal of
achieving universal health coverage has two important and interrelated
components: coverage for everyone who needs health services (including
prevention, promotion, treatment and rehabilitation) and coverage with
financial risk protection.

57. Both components are critical to the fulfilment of the highest
attainable level of health, a fundamental human right embedded in the
WHO constitution of 1948 and in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights. At the same time, people value them for their own sake. They
sleep securely at night knowing that the health services they might
require are available and of good quality and that they can afford to
use them.

Population figures by country

Comment: It is terrific that the United States has voted for a United
Nations resolution in support of universal health coverage for all
Member States. But what about the United States? The Affordable Care Act
will leave about 30,000,000 uninsured, more than the entire population
of each of 183 countries and territories. Oh, of course... the U.N.
resolution is nonbinding.

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