Both houses of Congress are controlled by the GOP, but Donald Trump’s healthcare bill was withdrawn on March 24 because it could not get the votes required.
President Donald Trump has blamed Democrats for the failure of his healthcare bill.
Speaking to the Washington Post, he said: “We couldn’t get one Democratic vote, and we were a little bit shy… so we pulled it.”
The last-minute retraction is seen as a huge blow to the president.
Repealing and replacing ObamaCare was one of Donald Trump’s major election pledges.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said he and President Trump agreed to withdraw the vote, after it became apparent it would not get the minimum of 215 Republican votes needed.
Republicans have a majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
However, 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 new healthcare 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 $336 billion 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, President Trump repeatedly said ObamaCare would “explode”.
However, he refrained from criticizing Paul Ryan, whose job as speaker of the House involves rallying support for controversial bills.
President Trump said: “I like Speaker Ryan. I think Paul really worked hard.”
Paul Ryan also told reporters the president had been “really been fantastic”.
Donald Trump said the Republicans would probably focus on tax reform for now.
“We have to let ObamaCare go its own way for a little while,” he told reporters at the Oval Office, adding that if the Democrats were “civilized and came together”, the two parties could work out a “great healthcare bill”.
“We learned about loyalty; we learned a lot about the vote-getting process,” he said.
Earlier Paul Ryan told reporters: “We are going to be living with ObamaCare for the foreseeable future.
“I will not sugar-coat this. This is a disappointing day for us. Doing big things is hard.
“We were a 10-year opposition party where being against things was easy to do.”
Leader of the House minority Democrats Nancy Pelosi described the retraction as “a victory for the American people”.