Donald Trump forced to pull vote on Obamacare overhaul after failing to get Republican support

Chloe Chaplain

Donald Trump has been forced to withdraw a healthcare bill set to overhaul Obamacare after it failed to get enough support.

The President agreed to pull the vote after it became apparent it would not get the minimum Republican votes needed.

The last-minute U-turn is a huge setback for the President in a Congress controlled by his own party.

Repealing Obamacare legislation had been a key pledge in his 2016 election campaign.

Health reforms: US President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks from the Oval Office (AFP/Getty Images)

He said the healthcare legislation he supported had been "very, very close" to getting enough support.

Speaking in the Oval Office after the setback, Mr Trump blamed Democratic opposition for the result.

He said: "We really had it. It was pretty much there, within grasp.

Crestfallen: House Speaker Paul Ryan announced the decision earlier today (AP)

“But I'll tell you what's going to come of it is a better bill...because there were things in this bill that I didn't particularly like. If both parties could get together and do real healthcare, that's the best thing.”," he said.

Mr Trump also expressed confidence in House Speaker Paul Ryan, who was seen as the main backer of the legislation. Ryan personally delivered the news earlier in the day to Trump that there were not enough votes to pass it.

"I like Speaker Ryan. He worked very, very hard. He's got a lot of factions. And there's been a long history of liking and disliking, even within the Republican Party, long before I got here," he said. "I'm not going to speak badly about anybody within the party."

Earlier, Mr Ryan told reporters: "We are going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.

"I will not sugar coat this. This is a disappointing day for us. Doing big things is hard."

Trump has privately told confidants he wished he had done tax reform first instead of getting immersed in the difficult effort to overhaul President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, which passed without Republican support in 2010.

"We'll probably be going right now for tax reform," Trump said, saying he wanted "big tax cuts and tax reform. That will be next."

A recent poll on the public’s view of Mr Trump’s health reforms revealed just 17 per cent approved.

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