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"That's how universal healthcare was enacted in every other western democracy - not with the support of the political right, but against their fierce opposition."
In Germany, the mandatory social insurance was introduced by Bismarck, who was about as right-wing as you can get.
However it still proves your point "(unless it's a play to stop even more progressive reforms they know would be coming otherwise)" because he did it to deprive the Social Democrats of a major campaigning point.