Trump praises Australia's universal health care during meeting with prime minister

Donald Trump and Malcolm Turnbull.
(Image credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

After touting the American Health Care Act on Thursday night, President Trump raved to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull about Australia's health care — much to the delight of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

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During their meeting in New York City, Trump called the AHCA, which narrowly passed in the House earlier in the day, a "very good bill right now," and claimed that "premiums are gonna come down, very substantially" and so will deductibles. "Right now, ObamaCare is failing," Trump continued. "I shouldn't say that to our great gentleman and my friend from Australia, because you have better health care than we do."

Sanders got a hearty laugh from this, as Australia offers universal health care that they call Medicare, in addition to private insurance coverage, a system much closer to ObamaCare than the AHCA. "Oh, okay, alright, the president has just said it," Sanders told MSNBC's Chris Hayes. "That's great. Let us take a look at the Australian health-care system, and let's move." Sanders suggested Trump study how health care is handled in Canada and Europe, and then move the U.S. to a "Medicare-for-all system that does what every other major country on Earth does: guarantee health care to all people at a fraction of the cost per capita that we spend. Thank you, Mr. President, we'll quote you on the floor of the Senate." Sanders also called Trump's assertion that the AHCA lowers premiums and deductibles "preposterous" and "totally false," and predicted this bill will be "even more unpopular" than the one the GOP failed to vote on weeks ago.

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.