Unless Republicans repudiate Reaganite supply side (i.e., trickle down) economics -- which stands at the very heart of contemporary, Tea Party conservatism and is the only thing unifying the increasingly disparate social conservative, libertarian, and Chamber of Commerce wings -- they own this debacle.
Our elected representatives would rather upset those who come back from the office or the factory than those returning from the supermarket. The person elected chooses to encourage the lowering of product prices because that appeals to the consumer, even though this decrease favors imports and hurts local workers. The elected official chooses to increase taxes on work and to lower taxes on consumption: more income tax and less value added tax.
In a rational model of health care, the consumer must have the ability to distinguish bad products from good, and must have enough information and emotional distance to make purely rational choices about their or their loved ones' health care. There are a number of reasons this simply is not the case.