Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who had proposed a single-payer health care system during his 2016 presidential campaign, burst into laughter after seeing a clip of Trump praising the Australian system.
Trump's comments took many by surprise, however: in repealing and replacing former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, the ACHA seeks to slash government funding for Medicaid and move the country away from universal health care.
President Donald Trump, glowing from his win at Capital Hill, praised Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at their meeting in NY on Friday, hours after dismantling Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.
President Donald Trump suggested Friday that Obamacare is so terrible that it has left the United States with the absolute worst health-care system in the entire world.
"I shouldn't say this to our great gentleman and our friend from Australia because you have better health care than we do", Trump said.
"In Australia everyone is guaranteed health care as a right, not a privilege". "The president has just said it, that's great".
A few hundred protesters lined up Thursday along Manhattan's West Side Highway to jeer Donald Trump's motorcade as he made his first trip home to NY since becoming president of the United States.
Trump said he had a "productive discussion" with Turnbull on a wide range of issues in NY after he returned to the city for the first time since taking office.
Republicans have strongly opposed calls by Sanders and others to create a similar "universal" health care system in the U.S. Thank you, Mr. President. "The Australian healthcare system provides healthcare to all of its people at a fraction of the cost than we do", Mr Sanders tweeted on Saturday.
While more than 130 million Americans are enrolled in some form of government coverage, such as Medicare and Medicaid, the majority of non-elderly people get private health insurance through a job. "We affirmed the tremendous friendship between the USA and Australia", Trump said.
Turnbull had to achieve a delicate balance with the meeting - mend fences with Trump to get the alliance back on track after the contentious phone call, while also not appearing too deferential to the president, who is deeply unpopular with Australians.
Trump is set to meet Turnbull on Thursday night here at the Intrepid Naval Museum, a retired US Navy vessel that is anchored on the Hudson River. In fact, Trump has long voiced support for universal health care, even if he hasn't actually pursued it politically.