In South Korea, hair loss emerges as a new electoral issue

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korean presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung is not bald. But he enjoys the support of many bald voters for his push for government payments for hair loss treatments.

Since his proposal was leaked earlier this week, hair loss has become a hot topic ahead of the March presidential vote in South Korea, where previous elections have focused on North Korea’s nuclear program. relations with the United States, scandals and economic problems.

Online communities for bald people are inundated with messages supporting his proposal. There are also strong criticisms that this is just a populist-driven campaign pledge by ruling party candidate Lee to win votes.

Social media posts include: “Jae-myung bro. I love you. I will plant you in the Blue House ”and“ Your Excellency, Mr. President! You are giving bald people new hope for the first time in Korea. . “

Lee told reporters on Wednesday that he believes hair regrowth treatments should be covered by the national health insurance program.

“Please let us know what has been bothersome for you regarding hair loss treatments and what needs to be reflected in policies,” Lee wrote on Facebook. “I will present a perfect policy on the treatment of hair loss.”

Lee, an outspoken Liberal, runs public opinion polls. Some critics have called him a dangerous populist.

“(Lee’s idea) may seem like a necessary step for many people who are worried about their hair loss, but this is only serious populism, as it would worsen the financial stability of the program. state insurance, “conservative newspaper Munhwa Ilbo said in a statement. editorial Thursday.

Currently, hair loss related to aging and hereditary factors is not covered by the government administered insurance program. Treatments for hair loss are only covered if the hair loss is caused by certain diseases.

Reports indicate that one in five South Koreans suffers from hair loss.

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