Months after his party failed to pass deeply unpopular legislation that would have taken healthcare from tens of millions of Americans, President Donald Trump on Monday launched an attack on "universal healthcare" that misleadingly attempted to use ongoing protests in the United Kingdom as proof that publicly-funded systems don't work.
The Democrats are pushing for Universal HealthCare while thousands of people are marching in the UK because their U system is going broke and not working. Dems want to greatly raise taxes for really bad and non-personal medical care. No thanks!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2018
In reality, thousands marched in London over the weekend to demand more National Health Service (NHS) funding, which has been slashed as a result of British Conservatives' relentless agenda of austerity and privatization.
"They are marching to protect [the NHS]," British journalist David Ottewell wrote in response to the U.S. president. "Not to replace it with a privatized system."
Despite its issues, the UK's National Health Service (NHS) works much better than American healthcare. It treats everyone who needs it, for free and for a fraction of the cost to the economy and society. In Britain, the poor don't need to win the lottery to afford medical care. https://t.co/DzUVIpcYHE
— Khaled Diab (@DiabolicalIdea) February 5, 2018
Wrong. People were marching because we love our NHS and hate what the Tories are doing to it. Healthcare is a human right. https://t.co/Pmo2xYSqZh
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) February 5, 2018
Hey, Britain here. Literally nobody here would ever want to trade our National Health Service for what America has. https://t.co/RQD0fIlMEV
— James O'Malley (@Psythor) February 5, 2018
They were marching for literally the opposite reason: love of the NHS and more funding to make it work properly. https://t.co/10QUGTzfrm
— James Longman (@JamesAALongman) February 5, 2018
I may disagree with claims made on that march but not ONE of them wants to live in a system where 28m people have no cover. NHS may have challenges but I’m proud to be from the country that invented universal coverage - where all get care no matter the size of their bank balance https://t.co/YJsKBAHsw7
— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) February 5, 2018
Trump's tweet comes months after the GOP attempted to ram through a bill that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and taken healthcare from as many as 32 million Americans.
Polls conducted over the past year have consistently found that a growing number of Americans are rapidly "shifting toward the political left" on healthcare and embracing the idea of a publicly-funded system that guarantees coverage to all as a right.
According to an AP/NORC poll published last July, 62 percent of Americans believe it is "the federal government's responsibility to make sure that all Americans have health care coverage." Under the current U.S. healthcare system, nearly 30 million Americans lack healthcare—a number that has risen significantly since Trump took office.
Trump has even signaled support for "universal healthcare" and praised the publicly-funded healthcare systems of other nations in the past, as many were quick to note in response to his tweet on Monday.
Trump 5 days before inauguration:
"We’re going to have insurance for everybody." https://t.co/IrZGnEkUBg
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) February 5, 2018
— James Cook (@BBCJamesCook) February 5, 2018