Trump Praises Aussie Medicare After Repealing Obamacare

Sen. Bernie Sanders burst out laughing on live television after hearing President Donald Trump praise Australia's universal health care system on Thursday.

The American Health Care Act, the GOP plan to repeal and replace the law known as Obamacare, scraps a large swath of government control from the healthcare system, essentially moving the United States further from an Australia-style universal healthcare.

Trump's comments came after the House narrowly passed the GOP's bill aimed at repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

Known as the American Healthcare Act, the bill has yet to receive a price tag from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and is opposed by a number of physician and health care groups, including the American Medical Association, amid concerns it could strip millions of Americans of their coverage, including those with pre-existing medical conditions.

Hours after a smug celebration of the passage of a bill to dismantle Obamacare with House Republicans, President Trump headed to NY to meet with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. And it does this all while providing health care to everyone in society - something that America's system, even with Obamacare still in place, does not. "We have a failing health care-I shouldn't say this to our great gentleman, my friend from Australia 'cause you have better health care than we do". In other words, something that more closely resembles the model of Trump's predecessor, former President Barack Obama, than unencumbered free-market capitalism.

MSNBC's Chris Hayes aired the president's praise of the Australian system on his show last night, and asked the Vermont senator for his reaction. "In Australia and every other major country on Earth they guarantee health care to all people", Sanders said. "We're not babies", Trump said during his first meeting with Turnbull, reverting to his favored tactic of media-bashing.

But while Mr Trump's bill was approved in the House, now it must pass through the Senate, where the legislation is believed to have little support.

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On the refugee deal, he said, "We can put the refugee deal behind you and move on".

"We didn't really have a rough phone call", Trump said in dinner remarks.

Fewer than one in five residents in the United States' most populous city voted for Trump, even though he comes from its Queens borough, built a real estate brand and other ventures associated with NY, and has been fodder for its tabloid newspapers for decades.

Regardless, Trump is correct that the USA lags behind other countries in health care service among industrialized nations.

Australia's healthcare system is run by the federal government, which Sanders quickly pointed out.

Mr Trump said they talked about national security, trade and boosting economic cooperation. "We have a fantastic relationship, I love Australia, I always have", Trump said.

  • Megan Austin