Laura Rigas, a spokeswoman for the American Conservative Union (which runs CPAC), confirmed to me that although “health care and the associated budget-busting costs at the federal and state level will be addressed in a number of panels,” there would be no panel dedicated exclusively to the health care issue. …

It’s precisely this attitude — by no means exclusive to CPAC — that has crippled the advancement of conservative health care solutions for decades.

The biggest conservative policy victories, such as the advancement of supply-side economics in the 1980s and welfare reform in the 1990s, came when conservative intellectuals and activists rallied around ideas at times when liberals didn’t have compelling answers to important problems. But conservative activists often disregard health care as a liberal issue — unlike taxes and guns — and only become engaged when liberals attempt to advance big government solutions. …

Though it’s a struggle to come up with silver linings from the passage of the health care law, it seemed that, at least for a while, conservatives were becoming more engaged on the health care issue. But in hindsight, the interest in health care policy on the Right is looking more like a fad built around opposition to Obamacare.