A couple hours after celebrating the passage of the Republican health care bill through the House of Representatives, President Donald Trump met with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, in New York.

The two leaders answered questions from reporters, and at one point, Trump turned to Turnbull and complimentedhim on Australia’s health care system.

“We have a failing health care,” said Trump. “I shouldn't say this to our great gentleman, and my friend from Australia, because you have better health care than we do."

Australia, by the way, has universal healthcare.

That’s why Stephanie March, the North America Correspondent for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, was surprised by Trump’s remark.

“He didn’t really need to make a comparison, he chose to,” says March. “It really did leave him open for quite a bit of criticism, and very soon after those [critical] comments were made.”

For example, Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders broke outlaughingon MSNBC.

“Thank you Mr. President,” Sanders said. “Let us move to a Medicare-for-all system that does what every other major country on Earth does: guarantee health care to all people at a fraction of the cost per capita that we spend.”

Trump tweeted on the topic Friday afternoon, clarifying that the Australian system is better than Obamacare. But the GOP’s health care bill will, of course, be great.

Of course the Australians have better healthcare than we do --everybody does. ObamaCare is dead! But our healthcare will soon be great.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 5, 2017

Trump's clarification does not make a whole lot of sense to March, though. She says the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has more similarities to the Australian health care system than the GOP’s plan does.

“Under Obamacare, the Medicaid program here in the US expanded quite a lot,” says March. “What that program does is provide health care support for particularly low-income earners.”

But under the GOP bill, that support might disappear, making health care accessible to a smaller group of people.

“One of the things that this GOP bill does,” March says, “is that it will over time reduce federal subsidies for the Medicaid expansion."

March has spent a lot of time covering the US health care system for an Australian audience, and she says she finds it “mind boggling,” “expensive,” and “convoluted.”

Here’s one thing she agrees with Trump on.

“As somebody who has lived under both systems, I think Mr. Trump was right,” says March. “I do think we have better healthcare in Australia.’’

But, she argues, the GOP health care bill is more of a step back than a step forward.

From PRI's The World ©2017 PRI