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Trump happy as US House votes to repeal, replace Obamacare

Washington: The US House of Representatives on Thursday narrowly approved a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, which can be seen as a victory for Republican President Donald Trump. The victory, however, could prove short-lived as the healthcare legislation heads for a likely battle in the Senate.

The vote to undo major parts of former President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement, which enabled 20 million more Americans to get health insurance, was Trump's biggest legislative win since he took office in January, putting him on a path to fulfilling one of his key campaign promises as well as a seven-year quest by Republican lawmakers.

The Republican president had suffered a stinging defeat in late March when House Republican leaders pulled legislation to scrap Obamacare after they and the White House could not resolve the clashing interests of Republican moderates and the party's most conservative lawmakers.

Trump has called Obamacare a "disaster" and congressional Republicans have long targeted the 2010 law, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, calling it government overreach.

With Thursday's 217-213 vote, Republicans obtained just enough support to push the legislation through the House, sending it to the Senate for consideration. No Democratic House members voted for the bill.

Democrats say it would make insurance unaffordable for those who need it most and leave millions more uninsured. They accuse Republicans of seeking tax cuts for the rich, partly paid for by cutting health benefits.