“Why aren’t outside groups on the right promoting the Senate version of repeal?” Doug Stafford, a chief strategist for Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a critic of the bill, told The Daily Beast. “If so it’s because they don’t like it. For reasons Rand and others have articulated, it isn’t real repeal. It accepts the basic tenets of Obamacare and largely tinkers with them or rebrands them. It has too many regulations, mandates, and subsidies. It’s a bailout for a failed system and for insurance companies.”
The White House hasn’t helped matters. President Donald Trump has held few events on health care reform and tweeted only sporadically about the topic amid his fights against “fake news,” cable hosts, and an ongoing investigation into ties between his campaign officials and the Russian government in 2016. He has occasionally offered his support for congressional legislation but also trashed the House bill as “mean.”
“Those outside groups have not been engaged!” former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele emailed The Daily Beast.