Republicans narrowly lose vote to ax former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

U.S. Republicans' latest attempt to repeal former President Barack Obama's healthcare legislation failed early on Friday.

The Senate debate started just before 1.30 a.m. (0530 GMT) on Friday morning and produced a 49-51 defeat for the Republicans, with at least three members of the party voting against their colleagues.

Friday’s vote is the third major blow to the GOP in as many days.

A comprehensive amendment that would have repealed and replaced the Affordable Care Act -- popularly known as ‘Obamacare’ -- with a plan created by the Senate's Republican leadership failed on Tuesday and Wednesday to pass in the chamber.

Republicans have long rallied around a “repeal and replace” mantra aimed at Obamacare.

President Donald Trump made efforts to overturn the legislation a centerpiece of his presidential campaign last year.

US Senate rejects latest attempt to repeal Obamacare