US President Donald Trump has suffered a major setback after his healthcare bill was withdrawn before a vote in Congress on Friday night.
The bill faced certain defeat from members of Mr Trump’s Republican party, who control both houses of Congress.
However, Mr Trump blamed the minority Democrats for the failure.
Repealing and replacing the healthcare programme enacted by his predecessor, Barack Obama, was one of the president’s major election pledges.
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said he and Mr Trump agreed to withdraw the vote, after it became apparent it would not get the minimum of 215 Republican votes needed.
Multiple reports suggested that between 28 and 35 Republicans were opposed to President Trump’s draft American Health Care Act (AHCA).
Some were said to be unhappy that the bill cut health coverage too severely, while others felt the changes did not go far enough.
The bill also appeared unpopular with the public – in one recent poll, just 17% approved of it.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the AHCA would reduce the deficit by $336bn between 2017 and 2026.
However, the number of Americans without health insurance would stand at 52 million by the same time – an extra 24 million compared with Obamacare.
Speaking after the withdrawal, Mr Trump repeatedly said Obamacare would “explode”, without explaining why.
However, he refrained from criticising Mr Ryan, whose job as speaker of the House involves rallying support for controversial bills.