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US President Donald Trump issues Friday vote ultimatum on health care bill

US President Donald Trump has demanded a make-or-break Friday vote on a new health care bill in the House of Representatives.

The American Healthcare Act is intended to replace parts of President Barack Obama’s signature law.
On Thursday’s vote was delayed because of opposition from some Republicans – despite Mr Trump’s repeated attempts to persuade them to back the legislature.
He now says he wants to move on and vote – whatever the result today.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said this was exactly the message delivered to Republican lawmakers at a meeting behind closed doors on Thursday.

Repealing and replacing so-called Obamacare was a major plank of Mr Trump’s election campaign.
Thursday’s vote postponement is a setback for the president who had insisted he would win the numbers to pass it through the lower chamber of Congress on that day.

The bill needs 215 votes to pass but ran into opposition mainly from conservative Republicans who believed it did not roll back enough of Mr Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Obamacare helped 20 million previously uninsured Americans get health insurance but has been plagued by increases in insurance premiums, which were also a problem before the health law. Mr. Trump promised a new law that would cover more people and at a lower cost. Groups representing doctors, hospitals and the elderly have said they are opposed to the Republican bill.

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