Jimmy Carter: Lack of US universal coverage is 'national scandal'

Universal health coverage is a right that should be ensured for all Americans, according to former President Jimmy Carter and Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former prime minister of Norway and former director-general of the World Health Organization, who co-authored an op-ed in Time.

Though the ACA reduced the number of uninsured Americans by 20 million, there are still 28 million people in the U.S. without health insurance, not to mention all the others who have insurance but cannot afford their copayments. In a developed nation such as the U.S., the articles authors regard this reality as unacceptable.

Mr. Carter and Dr. Brundtland, who practiced as a physician in Norway for 10 years, point to nations across the world that guarantee health coverage for their citizens and say Americans should not be conditioned to believe they do not deserve this same coverage.

"Why should Americans not enjoy the same health rights as citizens of other countries around the globe? Why does the U.S. have a lower life expectancy than Costa Rica (which has [universal healthcare]), and a higher maternal mortality rate than Kazakhstan?" Mr. Carter and Dr. Brundtland write. "Why should healthcare costs remain the biggest cause of bankruptcy in the U.S., thwarting the hopes and ambitions of hardworking families? The answer is quite simple: commercial self-interest."

The op-ed calls on citizens to demand universal healthcare from lawmakers, not as a privilege but as a right.


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