Many a politician has made an unusual pledge as part of their election campaigns, but perhaps none as unusual as that of South Korean presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung. Lee has said that if he were elected he would get the Government to pay for hair loss treatment.
The proposal made by Lee earlier this week has changed the debate around the election, pushing the usual topics like the economy, scandals and North Korea into the background. Discussion online amongst the bald community and those suffering from hair loss is very supportive of the proposal however there is also strong criticism of what many describe as a populist pledge purely with the intention of winning votes.
Lee, a civil rights attorney, is currently in the lead in opinion polls but many describe the outspoken liberal as a dangerous populist.
The 58 year-old Lee is not bald, but told reporters Wednesday that he thinks hair regrowth treatments should be covered by the national health insurance program with one in five South Koreans suffering from hair loss.
Posting on his Facebook page, Lee said: “Please, let us know what has been inconvenient for you over hair-loss treatments and what must be reflected in policies,” and “I’ll present a perfect policy on hair-loss treatment.”
The conservative Munhwa Ilbo newspaper said in an editorial on Thursday that: said “(Lee’s idea) may appear to be a necessary step for many people worrying about their hair loss but it’s nothing but serious populism, given that it would worsen the financial stability of the state insurance program.
Hair loss treatments are currently supported by the Government’s social welfare programme but only where the loss is caused by certain diseases, but that could change should Lee win and fulfil his pledge to pay for hair loss treatment.
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