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US Senate Republicans delay vote on Obamacare repeal bill

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell looks on during a press conference after a closed-door Senate GOP conference meeting on Capitol Hill, June 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

US Senate Republican leaders have delayed the vote on repealing and replacing Obamacare until after next week's Fourth of July holiday due to a lack of party support.

The announcement made by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday came as a setback to the Republicans to replace Obamacare, which according to the Congressional Budget Office would leave an estimated 22 million more people without health insurance by 2026.

“We are going to continue the discussions within our conference on the differences that we have that we’ll continue to try to litigate,” McConnell told reporters. “Consequently, we will not be on the bill this week but we are still working toward getting at least 50 people in a comfortable place.”

It is “a big complicated bill, they’re hard to bring together and hard to pass,” he added, describing Republicans as “optimistic that we’re going to get a result that’s better than the status quo.”

The Republican bill is aimed at fulfilling President Donald Trump's pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, the signature health insurance achievement of former President Barack Obama. Obamacare covers some 20 million Americans.

In the most contentious congressional vote of Trump's presidency last month, lawmakers voted 217 to 213 to pass the Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill.

No Democrats backed President Trump’s American Health Care Act (AHCA), also known as Trumpcare, and some 20 Republicans voted in opposition. Most of the Republican politicians have long vowed to repeal Obamacare.

Healthcare experts from across the political spectrum say the bill is unworkable and suffers from fatal flaws and could lead to Americans dropping out of the healthcare market.

Obamacare was designed to increase health insurance quality and affordability, lower the uninsured rate by expanding insurance coverage and reduce the costs of healthcare.

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