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Trump attacks Republicans after failed healthcare repeal

WASHINGTON: United States President Donald Trump lashed out at fellow Republicans in Congress on Saturday after suffering a major setback when the Senate failed to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Republican Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and John McCain had joined Democrats in a dramatic thumbs-down vote that triggered the stunning collapse of Mr Trump's healthcare reforms.

But the President demanded that lawmakers revisit the hot-button issue, taunting them by saying that otherwise they are no more than "total quitters".

"... Repeal & Replace is not dead! Demand another vote before voting on any other bill!" he wrote in a series of angry tweets over the space of several hours.

But some lawmakers are also seeking a new path on healthcare reform.

Republican Senators Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy and Dean Heller met Mr Trump on Friday on a plan that would task states - rather than the federal government - with crafting healthcare plans.

In an ominous warning, Mr Trump appeared to threaten lawmakers that he would end government payments to health insurers if Congress did not quickly approve a new bill.

"If a new healthcare Bill is not approved quickly, bailouts for insurance companies and bailouts for members of Congress will end very soon!" he wrote.

In an early morning tweet, he urged the senators to end the legislative filibuster. - AFP

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