President Trump has praised universal health care on many occasions, even dating back to his 2000 book The America We Deserve, but when questioned about this during the campaign, he said he doesn’t think single-payer health care would work in the United States. Trump stirred more confusion in January when he said he was working on a plan that provided “insurance for everybody.”
The issue of where Trump really stands on health care appeared to be resolved on Thursday when he gathered House Republicans to celebrate the passage of a bill that will cost 24 million Americans their coverage by 2026, or maybe even more.
But it wasn’t settled at all. Hours later, during his delayed meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday night, President Trump declared that Australian has better a health-care system than the United States.
“It’s a very good bill right now. The premiums are going to come down, very substantially. The deductibles are going to come down. It’s going to be fantastic health care. Right now Obamacare is failing. We have a failing health care,” Trump said. “I shouldn’t say this to our great gentleman and my friend from Australia, because you have better health care than we do.”
Australia has a government-funded universal-health-care system, which is called Medicare, and people can buy additional private insurance. As the Washington Post notes, it’s funded partly by taxes, including taxes on the wealthy.
The president’s remarks might not make any sense, but Senator Bernie Sanders really seemed to enjoy them.