President Trump withdrew AHCA (American Health Care Act) his administration's controversial replacement for the existing ACA (Affordable Care Act) late on Friday afternoon after it became clear that Republicans could not muster enough votes to get it past even the lower house of Congress.
The bill needed 215 votes to pass, but multiple reports indicated that between 28 and 35 Republican members were opposed to the act. There were also fears that the bill would have faced severe problems in the Senate because of an obscure provision known as the 'Byrd Rule'. The latter applies to bills passed under what are known as 'budget reconciliation' procedures which had been adopted by Republicans to prevent a Democratic filibuster in Congress. It meant however that measures that could not be seen as addressing federal budget issues were likely to be excluded.
Much of the Republican opposition came from the Freedom Caucus, a far right conservative group who felt the AHCA made too many concessions to liberals. Other more mainstream Republicans were frankly terrified by the plummeting public approval ratings for AHCA which stood at around 17%.
The failure of AHCA is a vast humiliation for president Trump who is now trying to blame the Democrats for its failure, in spite of the fact that Republicans have voting majorities in both houses.