In a recent post we spoke about Trump’s battle with Obamacare. As Donald Trump continues to astound the world with his unique style of presidency, there continues to be a lot of discussion about the US healthcare system. During a recent meeting with the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, President Trump stated that ObamaCare is failing and that Australia has better healthcare than the US. Mr Trump made the comment soon after he praised the efforts of his party for approving legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act, a move which is estimated to leave millions of Americans without insurance.
Americans on both sides are not happy with the legislation recently passed and believe there are serious issues with the new bill, such as an estimated $800bn cut from Medicaid which affects those most in need including children, pregnant women, seniors and individuals with disabilities. The Republicans have been pushing to deliver on the promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act since it was crafted in 2009.
Despite praising the new legislation which repeals Obamacare, historically Trump has supported universal health care so it is no wonder he praised the Australian health care system which does have such a system of care. But why exactly is health care considered good in Australia and why does even the President of the United States claim it is a better system than that in the US?
The universal health care system in Australia is known as Medicare. It provides health care to all citizens and permanent residents with free health services. Even visitors and travellers to Australia can access some free healthcare, with restrictions. For example, in most cases they will be treated free of charge in public hospitals for emergencies. Americans are often astounded to discover that pharmaceuticals are subsidised in Australia and that even mental health services are usually covered by Medicare.
A big factor of the Australian health care system is that it doesn’t just cater to only those who are sick. Australia puts a big emphasis on disease prevention and health management so that emergency departments and public hospitals don’t get overrun, believing that prevention is more cost-effective in the long term. American commentators state that if universal health care existed in America, private health insurance would probably still exist for those who wanted choice of doctor or specialist and hospital as is currently the case in Australia.
Interestingly, while Donald Trump is lauding Australian health care, many Australians fear the government is moving towards a US style system by cutting back on the services Medicare provides and encouraging more people to take out private health insurance.
Trump later claimed that he stands by the comment he made to Prime Minister Turnbull and that ‘everyone has better healthcare’ than the US but now ObamaCare is dead the US health system would soon be great. Just not universal.