Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday took aim at President Trump’s praise for Australia’s universal healthcare shortly after the GOP-controlled House passed a bill to replace ObamaCare.
"Thank you Mr. Trump for admitting that universal health care is the better way to go. I'll be sure to quote you on the floor of the Senate," he tweeted.
Sanders pointed out that Australia runs on government-funded universal healthcare system that consists of public and private markets with medical services provided by the private sector, the Hill reports.
Trump met with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in New York Thursday evening. The two attended a black-tie dinner aboard the USS Intrepid to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea.
In a brief address to the press, Trump praised the GOP healthcare bill that passed in the House earlier that day but not before doubling down on ObamaCare’s failures.
“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 healthcare,” Trump told reporters. “Right now ObamaCare is failing, we have a failing healthcare."
Trump continued, “I shouldn’t say this to our great gentlemen and my friend from Australia because you have better healthcare than we do but we will have great healthcare very soon.”
House Republicans narrowly voted Thursday to repeal and replace Obamacare, overcoming united Democratic opposition and their own deep divisions to hand a major win to Trump.
Sanders on Thursday told CNN, "Well Mr President, you're right, in Australia and every other major country on Earth they guarantee healthcare to all people. They don't throw 24 million people off health insurance. So maybe when we get to the Senate we should start off with looking at the Australian healthcare system."
As it stands, the bill would eliminate the fines ObamaCare imposed on people who don't buy coverage and erase tax increases in the Affordable Care Act on higher-earning people and the health industry. It would also cut the Medicaid program for low-income people and let states impose work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Subsidies for buying insurance would also be tied to consumers’ ages.
The Associated Press contributed to the report.