Former UN chief urges US leaders to enact publicly-financed healthcare as 'human right'
Ban made the comments on Monday in an exclusive interview with the Guardian in New York, as part of his work with The Elders, a group founded by the late anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela to work on issues of global importance, including universal health coverage.
The UK, in comparison, spends a little under 10 percent of the GDP, according to the latest available statistics, and health care is free at the point of delivery.
"It's not easy to understand why such a country like the US, the most resourceful and richest country in the world, does not introduce universal health coverage," said Ban.
"Nobody would understand why almost 30 million people are not covered by insurance."
He accused the "powerful" interests of pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and doctors that "inhibit the American government" of moving towards universal healthcare.
"This is for the people. Leaders are elected because they vowed that they would work for the people," Ban told the Guardian.
Despite astronomical spending on health, millions in the US live entirely outside the health system, uninsured and unable to go to the doctor without incurring hundreds or thousands of dollars in debt.
Health coverage has become a major issue ahead of the Congressional midterm elections in November, which are widely seen as a referendum on Trump's America.
Establishment Democrats have argued for the expansion of Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.