02:36 - Source: CNN
GOP lawmaker questioned on Trump's past words

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"Once we get it done, and then we can have the chance to really explain it," Collins said

Collins is backing the bill and predicts that it will pass

CNN —  

A Republican lawmaker says the GOP will have a chance to explain its health care legislation – eventually.

“In my district, right now there’s a lot of misunderstanding as to what it is we’re doing,” Rep. Chris Collins, R-New York, told MSNBC Thursday night in response to a question about what happens in districts and town halls.

“And once we get it done, and then we can have the chance to really explain it.”

Essential Health Benefits and why they matter

“The issues are not just as simple as people will say when you’ve got such a diverse country, and our conference represents that,” said Collins, President Donald Trump’s first supporter in Congress during the presidential campaign.

Asked to clarify his comments Friday, a spokesman for Collins said he was referring to potential questions from voters, which members of Congress would be able to answer when they return to their districts for town hall meetings.

Collins is backing the bill and predicts that it will pass, though its success in the House seemed far from certain Friday morning.

Speaking to CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Friday, Collins said he is depending on Republicans to “do the right thing”

“I’m counting on my team members, the other members of the Republican conference, to do the right thing because it is a binary choice right now,” he said on CNN’s “New Day.” “Obamacare will stay in place, and as the President said, we’re not bringing this back up.”

The legislation would scrap the individual mandate and allow insurers to charge higher premiums to those whose coverage has lapsed. It would provide refundable tax credits, based mainly on age, for individuals to purchase health insurance. It would also curtail federal support for Medicaid and defund Planned Parenthood for a year. It seeks to maintain Obamacare’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but no longer require insurers to offer comprehensive policies.

This story has been updated.

CNN’s Tami Luhby contributed to this report.