International Universal Health Coverage Day - 12 December.

Every year December 12th marks International Universal Health Coverage Day as a way to urge countries to accelerate progress toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The day also seeks to promote the idea that access to affordable quality health care is a human right.

Universal health coverage is a system that provides quality medical care to all of its citizens. The federal government offers health care to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. Out of 33 developed countries, only the United States is without universal health coverage. In 2010, President Obama passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This, however, is not considered universal health care.

Of all the developed countries, Americans are most familiar with Canada’s universal health care system. Canada has a single-payer system where free care is provided for all, regardless of who can pay. Vision, dental, and prescription drugs are paid for by private supplemental insurance. Some of the advantages of universal health coverage include:

  • Lowers the overall cost of health care
  • Lowers administrative costs
  • Standardizes services
  • Prevents future social costs


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