Turkish president: I advised Obama on health care reform

Turkish president: I advised Obama on health care reform

The president of Turkey appears to be taking partial credit for Obamacare, saying he counseled U.S. President Barack Obama on health care reform at the request of American tourists.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed his professed role in shaping Obamacare at the opening ceremony of a health complex in the Turkish capital, Ankara, on Wednesday, the Hurriyet Daily News reported.

“Once I attended the Friday prayer at the Sultanahmet Mosque. There were tourists. Some of them knew that I would be visiting the United States the following week. They asked me how we could be so successful in health care and wanted me to tell about it to Obama,” he said.

Erdogan shared the anecdote in an attempt to illustrate how other countries, he said, wish to emulate Turkey’s health care model.

“Indeed, I then talked about the issue with Mr. Obama,” he said.

He commiserated with the roadblocks Obama has faced in pushing through health care reform, saying the American leader “could only solve the problem partly.”

“Of course, the negative reflex there [in the U.S.] made it really hard for Mr. Obama,” Erdogan said, according to the Turkish broadsheet.

Erdogan added that European officials also come to his nation to study its health care system.

“They try to take us as a model and build similar systems in their country,” he said. “Don’t we have any deficiencies? We do, but now we are on the right path to success.”