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The US House of Representatives has passed a bill designed to undo and replace Obamacare, in a nail-biting vote that handed the Trump administration its first major legislative victory since taking office.

Thursday’s vote on the American Health Care Act comes after a failed first attempt to advance healthcare reform in March, which saw House leaders yank a previous version of the bill at the last minute as it appeared poised for defeat.

The final vote was 217-213. A majority of 216 votes was needed to pass.

US President Donald Trump repeatedly lambasted Obamacare — also known as the Affordable Care Act — on the campaign trail and made undoing his predecessor’s signature legislative accomplishment a top priority. Democrats, meanwhile, have said it will undo critical measures that have reduced the number of uninsured Americans.

As voting commenced on Thursday, Mr Trump tweeted: “Insurance companies are fleeing ObamaCare – it is dead. Our healthcare plan will lower premiums & deductibles – and be great healthcare.”

The bill will now advance to the US Senate.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

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