When Scott Brown won the Senatorial seat in Massachusetts, part of his mandate I noted was the fact that his state (under Romney) had come up with a superior health care plan to the one proposed by Obama. Some of those details have been made clear, in this article:
Republicans say Obama and the Democrats co-opted their original concept, minus a mechanism they proposed for controlling costs. More than a dozen GOP attorneys general are determined to challenge the requirement in federal court as unconstitutional.
Obama rejected a key part of [Republican] Pauly's proposal: doing away with the tax-free status of employer-sponsored health care and replacing it with a standard tax credit for all Americans. Labor strongly opposes that approach because union members usually have better-than-average coverage and suddenly would have to pay taxes on it. But many economists believe it's a rational solution to America's health care dilemma since it would raise enough money to cover the uninsured and nudge people with coverage into cost-conscious plans.
Romney's success in Massachusetts with a bipartisan health plan that featured a mandate put the idea on the table for the 2008 presidential candidates.
Fiscal responsibility is the key. If it's not, it's not conservative.