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New Miss USA ignites social media firestorm by calling health care a 'privilege,' not a 'right'

  • New Miss USA Kara McCullough has health insurance through her federal job.
  • "To have health care you need to have jobs," she says.

And the winner gets ... a lot of people mad at her on Twitter.

The winner of the Miss USA beauty pageant on Sunday night ignited a heated brouhaha on social media after she called affordable health care for all U.S. citizens a "privilege" instead of a "right."

Kara McCullough, who was representing the District of Columbia in the pageant, has health-care coverage through her job as a scientist at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

McCullough, 25, referenced that fact in her instantly controversial answer after being asked during the pageant's question phase about whether or not people have a right to affordable health care.

"I'm definitely going to say it's a privilege," McCullough said. "As a government employee, I'm granted health care and I see firsthand that for one to have health care you need to have jobs."

"We need to continue to cultivate this environment that we're given the opportunity to have health care as well as jobs to all American citizens worldwide," she added.

A lot of people who disagree with McCullough and let the world know about it.

But others supported McCullough's stance.

And one man noted that the new Miss USA was just the latest pageant contest to spark a furor.

McCullough's answer came as Congress is considering repealing and replacing key parts of the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, which has expanded health insurance coverage to 20 million additional Americans in the past seven years.

President Donald Trump, who is pushing that effort, previously co-owned the Miss Universe Organization, which runs the Miss USA competition, with NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.

Trump bought out NBCUniversal's share in 2015, after the company said it was ending its business relationship with the real estate mogul after he made "derogatory statements ... regarding immigrants."

Trump later sold the Miss Universe Organization to the entertainment company WME/IMG.