[Ip-health] Reuters: WHO urges Trump to expand Obamacare, ensure healthcare for all

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Tue Dec 13 00:48:03 PST 2016


POLITICS | Fri Dec 9, 2016 | 1:11pm EST

WHO urges Trump to expand Obamacare, ensure healthcare for all

By Stephanie Nebehay | GENEVA

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday urged U.S. President-elect
Donald Trump to expand Obamacare and ensure all Americans have access to

The real estate magnate takes office next month after promising to repeal
outgoing President Barack Obama's signature healthcare policy which helped
millions more Americans get medical insurance but has been a target of
Republican attacks.

Agnes Soucat, the WHO's director of health system governance and financing,
said there were various ways of providing health cover to more people, and
it amounted to "political choices."

"We as the WHO really encourage the new administration to make sure that
the social contract is expanded and that all U.S. citizens have access to
health care," Soucat told a news briefing in Geneva.

The United States is the only country among the 35 member states of the
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) not to provide
universal health care, a key U.N. Sustainable Development Goal for 2030,
she said.

The Affordable Care Act, known commonly as Obamacare, has provided some 25
million previously uninsured Americans with health cover. Republicans say
it has created unwarranted government intervention in personal healthcare
and private industry.

Trump in late November picked Republican U.S. Representative Tom Price, an
orthopedic surgeon from Georgia and Obamacare critic, to be his health

Price has long championed a plan of tax credits, expanded health savings
accounts, and lawsuit reforms to replace Obamacare.

Republicans are divided over how quickly an Obamacare repeal should go into
effect, with some saying a delay would give them time to work on a
replacement, instead of throwing millions of Americans out of their health
insurance with no substitute.

"There are different strategies to make universal health care particularly
pro-poor," Soucat said. "So what we are saying is, yes, this would be a
setback if people would lose coverage."

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Richard Lough)

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