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White House downplays Trump's praise for Australian healthcare

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday that President Trump was “simply being complimentary” of Australia’s prime minister when he said Australia has a better healthcare system than the U.S.

Some, including Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersHarris presses young people to vote early in Iowa trip Dems lower expectations for 'blue wave' Election Countdown: Takeaways from heated Florida governor's debate | DNC chief pushes back on 'blue wave' talk | Manchin faces progressive backlash | Trump heads to Houston rally | Obama in Las Vegas | Signs of huge midterm turnout MORE (I-Vt.), who supports a “Medicare-for-all” system, had seized on Trump’s praise of Australia’s universal healthcare system Thursday. Sanders said Democrats would invoke Trump's comment amid the healthcare debate.

“I think he was simply being complimentary of the prime minister and I don’t think it was anything more than that,” Sanders said of Trump's comment during her first on-camera briefing Friday.

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"What works in Australia may not work in the United States,” she continued. “We’re focused on a healthcare plan that works here."

Trump met with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday, when he remarked that Australia's healthcare system may be better than that of the U.S. Australia’s healthcare system consists of both a private market and a public, universal option.

Trump's comments came after the House narrowly passed the GOP’s bill aimed at repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

"It's a very good bill right now. The premiums are going to come down very substantially. The deductibles are going to come down. It's going to be fantastic healthcare. Right now ObamaCare is failing; we have a failing healthcare," Trump said Thursday alongside Turnbull.

"Our great gentleman and my friend, from Australia ... you have better healthcare than we do.”