Universal support from the Donald - Macleans.ca

Universal support from the Donald

He’s made a political about-face, but Trump still backs Canadian-style universal health care

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When Donald Trump published The America We Deserve, a political manifesto of sorts in 2000, the business tycoon outlined a very un-Republican policy agenda, including much praise for how Canada deals with the sick. “We must have universal health care,” wrote Trump. “I’m a conservative on most issues but a liberal on this one. We should not hear so many stories of families ruined by health care expenses.” He continued, “Doctors might be paid less than they are now, as is the case in Canada, but they would be able to treat more patients because of the reduction in their paperwork.”

Along with the book, the host of Celebrity Apprentice, who now tops some polls as the leading Republican candidate for 2012, has made untold statements over the past decade that could discredit his bid, including frank critiques of George W. Bush and the Iraq war. He even donated to Barack Obama’s campaign. But he’s since made a political about-face. He’s taken up the birther cause, questioning Obama’s U.S. citizenship, backed the invasion of Iraq, and has reversed his stance on abortion—Trump is now pro-life.

So does The Donald still love Canadian-style universal health care? After all, he made his stance pretty clear back then: “The Canadian plan also helps Canadians live longer and healthier than Americans,” he wrote. “There are fewer medical lawsuits, less loss of labour to sickness, and lower costs to companies paying for the medical care of their employees.” Speaking to a crowd of Tea Partiers a couple weeks ago in Boca Raton, Fla., Trump said he’d “fight to get rid of Obamacare, which is a total disaster.” Though he didn’t say it, perhaps he has a made-in-Canada alternative in mind.