US President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Friday to defend
remarks he had made about healthcare during a meeting with
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
During a photo shoot with Turnbull,
Trump told the prime minister that he didn’t need to tell him
about the US healthcare system under the Affordable Care Act
“because you have better healthcare than we do.”
Australia has a universal healthcare system, which
Republicans have long attacked.
Trump tried to clarify the remark on Friday.
“Of course the Australians have better healthcare than we
do — everybody does,” Trump tweeted. “ObamaCare is dead! But our
healthcare will soon be great.”
Australia’s is one of 58 countries that has some form of a
universal healthcare system. The American Health Care Act, the
GOP plan to repeal and replace the law known as Obamacare, scraps
a large swath of government control from the healthcare system,
essentially moving the US further from an Australia-style
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House deputy press
secretary, had suggested earlier on Friday that Trump was being
“complimentary” of Turnbull.
“I think he was simply being complimentary of the prime
minister, and I don’t think it was much more than that,”
Trump pushed back his meeting with Turnbull in New York
City by several hours to celebrate the passage of the AHCA in the
House on Thursday. The president and members of the House GOP
conference held a celebratory press conference at the White House
after the bill passed by a thin margin.