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Trump in NYC says Australia has better health care -- it has a universal coverage system

President Trump praised Australia's health care system as better than the United States' system after meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Manhattan on Thursday evening, hours after the U.S. House passed a bill repealing and replacing portions of Obamacare.

There's just one catch for the Republican president -- Australia has a universal health care system, which is largely publicly funded. Mr. Trump said the House GOP's health care bill, the American Health Care Act, "could change a little bit" in the Senate, or perhaps become "even better." 

"It's going to be fantastic health care," Mr. Trump told reporters after meeting with the Australian prime minister. "Right now, Obamacare is failing. ... We have a failing health care."

Adding that Australia has better health care than the U.S. currently does, he said, "We're going to have great health care very soon."

Thousands of protesters expected for Trump's NYC visit 02:41

Mr. Trump made the comments just before speaking on the USS Intrepid to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Coral Sea, a World War II battle in which more than 600 Americans were killed trying to protect Australia from a Japanese invasion. But Mr. Trump's health care comments drew more attention from Twitter on Thursday night than his other remarks.

The House narrowly passed the American Health Care Act Thursday with a 217-213 vote, but the bill faces an uphill battle in the Senate. Mr. Trump said he expects the bill to pass anyway.

"I think we'll get it through," he said, saying House Republicans united "like magic" to pass the bill in that chamber earlier.

Thousands were expected to protest Mr. Trump's appearance in New York City, his first since taking office in January.

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