Obama asks Democrats to defend his healthcare programme

Obama asks top Republicans to dump Trump

President Barack Obama has urged fellow Democrats to fight for his healthcare bill, as the incoming Donald Trump team vowed to make a repeal of the law which extended health coverage to an estimated 20 million Americans, a priority.

In a two-hour private meeting, Mr Obama sought to rally members of his party as Republicans took their first steps to dismantle his signature bill.

He spoke as Republicans in the Senate took the first step to begin demolishing Obamacare voting by 51 to 48 to debate a budget resolution designed to starve the programme of funding.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer warned that scrapping the law would throw the insurance marketplace into turmoil.

But Vice-President-elect Mike Pence, after meeting fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill, said they would bring about a “smooth transition to a market-based healthcare reform system”.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence was also at congress, where he told his party they would replace Obamacare.

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