Trump does not think U.S. should copy
Australia's health system: White House
Send a link to a friend
[May 06, 2017]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President
Donald Trump was simply saying nice things to an ally when he called
Australia's universal healthcare system better than the U.S. system, and
he does not think his country should adopt a similar approach, the White
House said on Friday.
"The president was complimenting a foreign leader on the operations of
their healthcare system," White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders
said at a news briefing. "It didn't mean anything more than that."
Trump raised eyebrows when he told Australian Prime Minister Malcolm
Turnbull on Thursday in New York, "You have better health care than we
Trump spoke shortly after he led a White House rally with Republicans
from the House of Representatives, who had just passed legislation to
overturn much of former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare
law and move further away from a guarantee of universal coverage.
That measure, opposed by Democrats, must clear the Senate before Trump
can sign it into law.
"Of course the Australians have better healthcare than we do - everybody
does," Trump tweeted on Friday. "ObamaCare is dead! But our healthcare
will soon be great."
Independent scorekeepers at the Congressional Budget Office have not yet
analyzed the bill, but they estimated an earlier version would have led
to 24 million fewer Americans with insurance coverage than under current
Australia's government plays a larger role in its health system. The
country provides free hospital treatment and subsidized medical care for
all residents through a publicly funded program. Roughly half of
Australians choose to buy private coverage, which provides them with
[to top of second column]
President Donald Trump (L) and Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm
Turnbull (R) deliver brief remarks to reporters as they meet ahead
of an event commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the
Coral Sea, aboard the USS Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New
York, U.S. May 4, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Huckabee Sanders said Trump's remarks do not mean he thinks the
United States should adopt a similar system.
"I think he believes that they have a good healthcare system for
Australia," she said. "What works in Australia may not work in the
(This version of the story in third paragraph, corrects name of
Australian prime minister)
(Reporting by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Cynthia
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.