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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

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

1 hour ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.