- Tom Price on Monday disputed that there's a lack of diversity among the Republicans working on health care and called the charge "absolutely offensive."
- "So this is absolutely offensive to those who understand and appreciate what's really going on," he said.
Price was asked on the "The Mike Gallagher Show" about criticism of the Senate working group comprised of 13 white men tasked with passing a health care bill.
"This is most offensive," Price answered. "Look, Cathy McMorris (Rodgers) who's chairperson -- chairman -- of the Republican conference in the House of Representatives, was intimately involved in this process. Diane Black, representative, is the chair of the Budget Committee, is the author of the bill that went through the House of Representatives. Seema Verma who is the administrator for Center for Medicare, Medicaid Services -- all these individuals -- leaders, leaders in this, are and with great experience and expertise. So this is absolutely offensive to those who understand and appreciate what's really going on."
A senior White House official told CNN on Tuesday that the "optics" of the working group would be addressed. Democrats have criticized Republicans for excluding women from the group.
"We are going to keep pushing Senate Republicans to take a different path than the House did and sending a very clear message to the 13 Republican men currently negotiating a secret health care plan, which I really hope is not happening in the men's locker room at the very least," Sen. Patty Murray told reporters Tuesday.