Feb 5, 2018

Trump slams "universal health care," which he once praised

President Trump criticized Democrats this morning for wanting “universal health care,” citing the ongoing problems with Britain’s National Health Service. Funding shortfalls at the NHS have led to such long delays that some patients are being turned away from hospitals.

Yes, but: Universal coverage means everyone’s covered; it’s not necessarily the same thing as a single-payer health care system like the NHS. And it’s a goal Trump has repeatedly endorsed in the past.

What he's said before:

  • May 2017: Trump told Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian prime minister, that “you have better health care than we do.” (Australia has a single-payer system.)
  • January 2017: “We’re going to have insurance for everybody,”
  • September 2015: "Everybody's got to be covered … I am going to take care of everybody. I don't care if it costs me votes or not."
  • 2000: “I’m a conservative on most issues but a liberal on health … We must take care of our own. We must have universal healthcare.”

Reality check: In most of the world, single-payer — in which the government provides all or most health insurance, and in some cases directly employs health care providers —is the route to achieving universal coverage.

  • Such systems are indeed financed with high taxes.
  • But even countries with generous single-payer systems spend far less per person, in total, than the U.S. spends each year on health care. (Per-capita health care spending in the U.S. is more than double what the U.K. spends — we just don't spend it all through taxes.)

Go deeper: Jeremy Hunt, the U.K.'s health secretary, strikes back at Trump.

Go deeper

Updated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 5,916,464— Total deaths: 364,357 — Total recoveries — 2,468,634Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,744,258 — Total deaths: 102,709 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  4. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  5. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  6. 1 sports thing: NCAA outlines plan to get athletes back to campus.

Trump says he spoke with George Floyd's family

President Trump in the Rose Garden on May 29. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Friday that he had spoken with the family of George Floyd, a black resident of Minneapolis who died after a police officer knelt on his neck on Monday.

Driving the news: Former Vice President Joe Biden said via livestream a few hours earlier that he, too, had spoken with Floyd's family. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee implored white Americans to consider systemic injustices against African Americans more broadly, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.

Former Minneapolis police officer in custody

A man rides a bicycle up to a law enforcement checkpoint today in Minneapolis. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The people of Minneapolis who took to the streets to protest got results Friday afternoon, but the nation will still enter the weekend on edge.

Why it matters: It's hard to imagine fired police officer Derek Chauvin being arrested so quickly on third-degree murder charges without this week's protests.