Monday, May 8, 2017

Trump says Australia has a better health carer system than ours.

President Trump went to New York on Thursday to meet with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.   Yes, the one he got angry with and hung up on, when Turnbull asked him to honor our previous commitment to taking 1,500 Syrian refugees that Australia was holding for settlement.

They had an amicable meeting this time.   Trump went out of his way to praise Australia and Turnbull -- making mention of their health care system.  President Trump actually said:  "We have a failing health care -- [turning to Turnbull] . . . you have better health care than we do."

[Background facts:   Australia has a system -- actually called "Medicare" -- which covers everyone with a government provided insurance for basic services;  and anyone can add to it with a private supplementary policy that covers more services and quicker access.  It's sounds exactly like our Medicare system with supplemental private policies.    Sam Stein reported these comparative facts:   In latest stats:  Australia spent $4,115 per capita on health care, while the US spent $9,086.  This represents 9.4% of Australia's GDP and 17.1% of US's GDP.]

Watching "All in With Chris Hayes," we got to see Chris's guest, Bernie Sanders, in his initial reaction to hearing these words coming from Trump's mouth.   When Chris played the clip, which Sanders had not yet heard, he threw back his head in a big laugh.  "The president has just said it.   That's great!" he said, also noting that they'll make use of this quote in ads during the 2018 campaign.   Sanders, of course, favors a Medicare-for-all type of universal, taxpayer funded system.

We must remember, however, that you cannot believe anything that our president says.   This praise for Australia's system came just a few hours after Trump had been praising the House bill they had just passed and claiming that it is "going to be fantastic health care -- he said it would insure more people, lower premiums and lower deductibles -- all false.

On the other hand, in his 2000 book, "The America We Deserve," Trump's ghost writer had written for him:  "We must have universal health care."   Whether he knew that was in his book is debatable, since we know he does not read books, or briefing papers, or much of anything.

So, does it mean anything that he said Australia's health care is better than ours?   Aside from the fact that it's one of the rare, true things he has said?  Beyond that, the video clip will be useful in campaign ads for 2018, to confront him with the fact that he tries to help pass some version of the Republican "repeal/replace" plan -- which will move our healthcare much further away from Australia's plan.


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