Bernie Sanders laughs as Donald Trump admits universal healthcare is better

US President tells Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull: 'You have better healthcare than we do'

Lucy Pasha-Robinson
Friday 05 May 2017 15:25 BST
Bernie Sanders bursts out laughing and pledges to quote Trump on the Senate floor

Senator Bernie Sanders could hardly contain his laughter after Donald Trump admitted Australia’s universal healthcare was better than the US system.

Speaking with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull the same day the US House of Representatives narrowly passed a healthcare bill aimed at undoing Obamacare, the US President claimed healthcare was failing and that Australia’s publicly-funded system was better.

“Right now Obamacare is failing. We have a failing — I shouldn't say this to our great gentleman and my friend from Australia, because you have better healthcare than we do…” he said.

The irony of his comments was not lost on Mr Sanders, who laughed before thanking the Republican leader for highlighting the need for universal healthcare coverage.

The Democrat socialist, who lost out to Hillary Clinton in the party’s presidential nominations, encouraged the former real estate mogul to move to a universal healthcare system after it emerged the new GOP healthcare bill could leave millions of Americans without cover.

"The President has just said it. That's great. Let's take a look at the Australian healthcare system, and maybe he wants to look at the Canadian healthcare system, or systems throughout Europe. Thank you Mr President, let us move to a Medicare for all system," Mr Sanders told MSNBC.

Australia's Medicare system was introduced in the 1970s to work alongside the private system and ensure that all Australians were able to access healthcare coverage, irrespective of income.

Thursday’s 217-213 vote was a significant triumph for Mr Trump, who repeatedly promised during his campaign to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's healthcare law.

Mr Trump suffered a major setback in March after a vote on an earlier version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) was dramatically cancelled at the last minute when it failed to gain enough Republican support.

Twenty Republicans voted against the legislation, which was fully rejected by Democrats.

The AHCA now faces an uphill battle in the Senate, but Mr Trump feels confident about the result. “It’s going to an unbelievable victory when we get it through the Senate,” he said.

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