02:30 - Source: CNN
Tom Price predicts GOP health bill will pass

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"This is the legislative process," Price said

As of Friday morning, the likelihood of the bill passing was uncertain

CNN  — 

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price sought to downplay Friday’s health care vote in the House, saying Republican lawmakers can fix any problems with the plan once it makes its way into the Senate.

“This is just one part of it. That second phase is so incredibly important that we’re able to do at the department because that’s how the previous administration was able to put in place all sorts of rules and regulations that made the system more difficult for patients and for those providing the care,” he told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.” “That’s what we’re going to focus our efforts, on patients and those providing the care.”

Price said negotiations with lawmakers who don’t support the plan could continue after it gets through the House.

“It leaves you with the opportunity for the Senate to modify it and change it as they see fit,” he said. “And then if there are significant changes, it goes to conference committee. This is the legislative process.”

After repeatedly trying to persuade more conservative members of Congress to back his plan, President Donald Trump gave Republicans an ultimatum Thursday night, saying the bill should be put to a vote Friday regardless of whether it is assured of passage. He said if House Republicans don’t support the plan, he will move forward and blame them for failing to repeal Obamacare.