The United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of a draft resolution supporting universal health coverage, signaling the importance of universal healthcare to the international development agenda.
The resolution, which is backed by the United States, encourages governments to come up with systems that avoid direct payments at the point of delivery, include a way to prepay for financial contributions toward health care and a mechanism to pool risks among the population in order to avoid catastrophic expenses. Essentially, this amounts to a system where health insurance is either attainable and affordable for all, or the federal government picks up the tab for health care costs.
The U.N. also urged governments to “promote the inclusion of universal health coverage in the implementation of the internationally agreed development goals…as a means of promoting sustained, inclusive and equitable growth, social cohesion and well-being of the population.”
Universal healthcare is widely seen as a hallmark of a developed nation, with nearly all high- and many middle-income countries having some form of universal coverage in place.