That's what Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity — a conservative group aligned with the Koch brothers — said when David asked him what the next steps on ACA repeal should be. That says a lot about the state of the repeal effort, especially at a time when Trump and top administration officials aren't ready to move on.
- He still thinks Republicans shouldn't give up and should come back to it later, as the ACA markets get worse. But "for now, they need to pivot to tax reform and look for new approaches on Obamacare."
- "It's an epic failure across the board, and that includes the House and Senate." But didn't the House at least pass a bill? "It wasn't a full repeal" — which is what Republicans had promised.
Yes, but: Not all conservative groups are ready to hit the pause button. FreedomWorks president Adam Brandon, for example, wants Republicans to shift to a "death by a thousand cuts" strategy — including a reworked version of Cruz's "Consumer Freedom Option" and whatever steps Price can take on his own to loosen the ACA rules.
And Heritage Action wants the Senate to keep looking for ways to revive the repeal effort, according to Dan Holler, the group's vice president. What should they try that the Senate hasn't already tried? Not clear, Holler acknowledged — "but just throwing up their hands and not continuing to work on it isn't acceptable."
Don't forget the punishment: Brandon also wants Senate GOP leaders to take away Murkowski's position as chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee — to see if she'll keep voting "no" on repeal after that.