While Americans debate universal health, other nations adopt coverage for all

While Americans debate whether to scrap President Obama’s health care law, many less wealthy countries already provide universal health care or are working to make the coverage available in their nations. China, Mexico, Thailand, and even two of the world’s poorest nations — Rwanda and Ghana — have instituted or are forming programs to make health insurance available for all of their citizens.

“This is truly a global movement,” Julio Frenk, dean of Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and former minister of health in Mexico, told the Los Angeles Times on May 14, 2012. “As countries advance, they are realizing that creating universal health care systems is a necessity for long-term economic development.”

As minister of health in Mexico from 2000 to 2006, Frenk introduced a program of comprehensive national health insurance, known as Seguro Popular, which expanded access to health care for tens of millions of previously uninsured Mexicans. Seguro Popularnow insuresmore than50 million people in Mexico.

The U.S. is alone among the world’s richest nations in not providing health care coverage to all citizens, the article stated.

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HSPH Dean Julio Frenk on health reform lessons from Mexico (Harvard Business Review)