I think you should check out this thread just for Art Deco's
comments. I agree that it makes no sense to look for real leadership on health care policy from the Republican congressional leadership. But I also don't think that the failure to familiarize the public with free market-oriented health care policies is primarily a failure of Washington leadership. I think that leadership in the sense of explaining critiques of Obamacare and potential alternative market-driven policies will have to come, if it does come, from the broad center-right. That means periodicals, talking heads who appear in the media, conservative talk show hosts and politicians outside the top Republican congressional leadership. The model I'm thinking of is closer to the welfare reform debate from the mid-80s to 1994. The burden of selling and implementing conservative policies was carried first by public intellectuals and academics (to include Charles Murray, Lawrence Mead, George Gilder, Robert Rector and others), backbench members of Congress, and Republican governors. Those folks basically won the argument first over the then-existing welfare system's destructive effects and then developed reform approaches based on behavioral conditions and time limits (even if Gilder and Murray did not approve of this approach). The Republican Presidents and top Republican congressional leaders of this era (like Bob Dole and Bob Michel) had little to do with shaping public opinion on this issue. I remember reading that Wall Street Journal
editor Robert Bartley had said it took x number (I don't remember the number but it was alot) of editorials to get a policy suggestion enacted. I think that the initial job of selling conservative approaches to health care will have to be a decentralized approach in which dozens and dozens of center-right elites make it a mission to explain health care to the public on many different platforms over of period of years. The other approach would be to wait for some savior figure who can, through eloquence and determination, win the public over in a presidential campaign. I don't think it is safe to assume that such a figure exists, but even if there were such a figure, coservatives should still try to prepare the way and make his paths straight.