As far back as 2009, the Transatlantic Trends, an annual survey of attitudes and beliefs, showed that European citizens were very much in favour of former President Obama’s Healthcare roll out. A strong majority backed Americas’s move towards a more “Socialised system”. However, studies show that over the following years, European opinion slowly turned against the healthcare reforms. Especially as more and more “horror stories” of what “Obamacare” entailed were released.
The majority of wealthier European nations have a form of healthcare that is paid for through General Taxation (the UK, Germany, France, Switzerland et al). The idea that a form of insurance should be required for what the majority of Europeans believe is a “right”, has lead to the conclusion that US Healthcare is more a “3rd World System”. Despite being a more expensive system, the average US Life Expectancy for a male is 76.73 years, ranked #47 in the World rankings for 2017, and #57 overall. Many of the European nations are in the top 30.
While President Trump attempts to repeal the ACA and implement the AHCA (or the now defunct BCRA), European opinion is swinging to a more favourable view. In general there is popular support for any Healthcare reforms, but it is important to note that politicians (mostly on the Left) are claiming that the proposed reforms would leave 45 million Americans without access. The 45 million without government subsidized access in fact means that 85% of Americans DO have access and many of those 45 million will CHOOSE not to have insurance.
The European “political” criticisms of the proposed reforms are part of a wider movement to placate the European population. Almost every aspect of President Trump’s Administration is criticized as a “step backwards” from former President Obama. Rising support of populist parties across Europe has the establishment parties fearful that the people will vote them out. Much of the European media focuses on “negative Trump” articles; but on all Social Media platforms, support for President Trump remains high.
Whilst the BBC in the UK will provide media coverage for anti-Trump rallies, it is on Social Media that pro-Trump rallies can be seen. In fact, in March, 2017, at a rally hosted by London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, parts of the crowd began chanting: “Donald Trump We Love You”. Snopes deemed this spontaneous pro-Trump chant claim to be Mostly False. They based that on the fact that the particular video they referenced claimed it it happened in June, rather than March. The reality remains that protesters DID attempt to disrupt one of the Mayor’s rally in this way; and it is happening more often around Europe.
In Poland, the President was very warmly greeted by crowds wearing “Make America Great Again” caps; the turnout for his speech was large and almost unanimously positive.
The predominant European opinion on President Trump is a positive one; yet the case for a Healthcare system based on insurance is still something that fails to find a large amount of popular support.
Mark is a political writer and journalist who has worked on campaigns for Brexit.