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Republicans postpone healthcare vote

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WASHINGTON US Senate Republican leaders postponed a vote on a healthcare overhaul on Tuesday after resistance from members of their own party,and President Donald Trump summoned Republican senators to the White House to urge them to break the impasse.

The delay put the future of a longtime top Republican priority in doubt amid concerns about the Senate bill from both moderate and conservative Republicans. With Democrats united in their opposition, Republicans need almost every vote among their own ranks in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had been pushing for a vote ahead of the July 4 recess that starts at the end of the week on the legislation, which would repeal major elements of Obamacare and shrink the Medicaid government healthcare programme for the poor.

"We're going to press on," Mr McConnell said after announcing the delay, saying leaders would keep working to make senators feel "comfortable" with the bill. "We're optimistic we're going to get to a result that is better than the status quo."

Meanwhile, at the White House meeting with most of the 52 Republican senators, Mr Trump said it was vital to reach agreement on the Senate healthcare measure because Obamacare was "melting down".

"So we're going to talk and we're going to see what we can do. We're getting very close," Mr Trump told the senators. But he added: "If we don't get it done, it's just going to be something that we're not going to like and that's okay."

The House of Representatives has passed its own version of the measure.- REUTERS

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