The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly approved a bill to repeal Obamacare on Thursday, handing Republican President Donald Trump a victory that could prove short-lived as the healthcare legislation heads into a likely tough battle in the Senate. Andy Sullivan reports.
President Donald Trump as his Republicans finally pass their Obamacare replacement through the House of Representatives. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "Make no mistake. This is a repeal and replace of Obamacare." Republicans are breathing a sigh of relief. This is a big victory for Trump and lawmakers like House Speaker Paul Ryan - all those off again on again talks appear to have paid off on one of the most difficult issues in American politics. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HOUSE SPEAKER PAUL RYAN SAYING: "One thing is now clear. Republicans are committed to keeping their promise to lift thte burden of Obamacare from the American people and put in place a better, more patient-centered system." The bill squeaked through with a party line vote of 217 to 213. Republicans framing the bill as a better way to provide affordable insurance. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HOUSE SPEAKER PAUL RYAN SAYING: "We can put this collapsing law behind us." Democrats saying it will add millions to the ranks of the uninsured. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPRESENTATIVE JIM MCGOVERN, D-MASSACHUSETTS, SAYING: "This is a pathetic process that everyone should be ashamed of. But I'll tell you, people will find out soon enough when they're denied health insurance." (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPRESENTATIVE DOUG COLLINS, R-GEORGIA, SAYING: "For seven years, the American people have said no, stop it, we don't want a healthcare system from government that takes freedom from us." Republicans buried their differences about what to do with people with pre-existing conditions, adding $8 billion to a pot of money to help cover costs for people already battling illness. Now it's on to the Senate. Republicans know voters will hold THEM accountable if the bill turns out to drive up costs or scale back coverage. Democrats lost control of the House after they passed Obamacare - now it's Republicans who have to worry about a possible voter backlash.