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WASHINGTON U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders said on Saturday that President Donald Trump was right to call Australia's universal healthcare system better than the U.S. system.

Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination last year, also said the Senate should use the Australian system as a model while crafting an alternative to Republican healthcare legislation that Trump endorses.

"President Trump is right. The Australian healthcare system provides healthcare to all of its people at a fraction of the cost than we do," Sanders commented on Twitter.

The tweet was accompanied by a short video that set out the virtues of Australia's universal healthcare system, saying it guarantees better service to all Australians at about half the cost of U.S. healthcare. The video also noted that Australians can expect to live longer than Americans, on average.

Sanders' tweet came two days after Trump told Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in New York: "You have better healthcare than we do."

The president's comment raised eyebrows, coming just after the U.S. House of Representatives had approved a Trump-backed bill that would overturn much of former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law and move the U.S. system further away from universal coverage.