Bernie Sanders was left reeling with laughter after President Trump applauded Australia’s universal health care, claiming it was better than the current system in the United States, and again reiterated that America needs Medicare-for-all. When speaking with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at a press conference last week, Donald Trump spoke highly of his new health care plan in the United States but reserved his greatest praise for Australia’s universal health care system, as CNN reported.
“It’s going to be fantastic 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.”
— All In w/Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) May 5, 2017
Bernie Sanders has long been advocating and fighting for a single-payer health care system or Medicare-for-all in the United States, and when speaking with Anderson Cooper took another opportunity to explain the merits of Medicare-for-all and the universal health care that citizens of Australia, Canada, and European countries enjoy.
“Well Mr President, you’re right, in Australia and every other major country on Earth they guarantee health care 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 health care system.”
The kind of universal health care that President Trump has lauded and that Bernie Sanders is fighting for is one that works extremely well around the world. In countries like the UK for instance, residents pay a small amount of money out of each paycheck which goes to fund their NHS health care system, much the same as those who have private health insurance in the United States, and this ensures that each person in that country is fully covered for medical care.
The Australian health care system that Donald Trump believes is far superior to America’s was first introduced in 1975 by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and was a change to the previous system in Australia of voluntary health insurance. If you are living in Australia, you are able to use their universal health care to see your doctor or optometrist for free. Hospital treatments have no charge, and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme was set up so that Australians get subsidized prescription drugs. The Australian universal health care system is in part funded through a 2 percent levy on taxpayers, although if you are on a low income, this can sometimes be waived completely or at least reduced.
To illustrate why Bernie Sanders believes that a Medicare-for-all health care system in the United States is one which would benefit all and why President Trump concluded that Australia’s universal health care is far superior to health care in America, the Australia government spent just 9 percent of its GDP on health care in 2014, while the United States spent 17 percent.
Despite the fact that many Americans are covered privately through health insurance provided through their employers, there are tens of millions of Americans who are still completely uninsured today. When Obama created the Affordable Care Act in 2010, this was to meant to help more Americans have access to health care. However, with Republicans appealing Obamacare, the health care situation in the United States is looking dire.
The political commentator Charles Krauthammer believes that despite what has happened to the Affordable Care Act that the Medicare-for-all system that Bernie Sanders endorses will probably happen within the next seven years. Speaking on the Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News, Krauthammer stated that he believes the United States is slowly moving towards a single-payer health care system.
“I think historically speaking we are at the midpoint. We had seven years of Obamacare, a change in expectations, and I would predict that in less than seven years, we will be in a single-payer system. “But the irony is in the end, I think Obamacare wins the day because it changed expectations. Look at the terms of the debate. Republicans are not arguing the free market anymore. They have sort of accepted the fact that the electorate sees health care as not just any commodity. It’s not like purchasing a steak or a car. It is something people now have a sense that government ought to guarantee.”
Do you think Charles Krauthammer is right in saying that America will one day have a similar universal health care system like the one in Australia that Trump praised and that Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-all will become a reality?
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