Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont thanked President Donald Trump for praising Australia's universal health care system on May 4 (video below).
Sanders tweeted a video of Trump offering his praise to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, adding a caption: "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."
In the video, Trump tells Turnbull: "You have better health care than we do."
The video cuts to Sanders laughing about the clip on MSNBC's "All In With Chris Hayes," and then cuts back to Trump.
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"Obamacare is failing," Trump tells Turnbull. "We have a failing health care ... I shouldn't say this to our great gentleman, and my friend, from Australia because you have better health care than we do.”
Back on the MSNBC clip, Sanders celebrates Trump's comments:
Wait a minute, Chris, the president has just said it. That's great. Let's take a look at the Australian health care system. And let's move, maybe he wants to take a look at the Canadian health care system or systems throughout Europe.
Thank you Mr. President! Let us move 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 than we spend. Thank you Mr. President. We'll quote you on the floor of the Senate.
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Trump doubled down on his praise of Australian health care on Twitter on May 5: "Of course the Australians have better healthcare than we do --everybody does. ObamaCare is dead! But our healthcare will soon be great."
Australia's government health care covers all of its citizens, while the Republican plan that Trump is referring to, the American Health Care Act, cuts government funding for health care and does not cover all Americans.
Trump's spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the press on May 5: "I'm saying that the president was complimenting a foreign leader on the operations of their health care system, and that it didn't mean any more than that," notes RawStory.com.
When pressed by reporters, she added: "I think he believes they have a good health care system for Australia. Again, that's one of the biggest things that's wrong with Obamacare. It's tried to be a one-size-fits-all, and that's the opposite of the plan that we're trying to put in place right now."