I don't know if SpaceX is leapfrogging ULA. The Alliance (why does that just sound wrong?) is responsible for a number of different booster programs spread out over time and territory.
Yeah, and was so "successful" at it that when there were problems getting Russian engines, they were temporarily grounded.
That said, some pressure on the behemoths to tighten up their act might be helpful - but remember although the ULA is presumably private, it is very much beholden to the Military Industrial Complex which means it is very much beholden to the Congress which means different booster programs spread out over time and territory as much time and territory as is possible.
Then where are they?
Granted, they are starting to produce some decent stuff again, but only really started doing so when SpaceX and a couple of other upstarts threatened their warm fuzzy government cocoon.
NASA has become too big and bureaucratic to get much done in any kind of hurry. Yes, that is partly, or perhaps even mostly, Congress' fault with its budget shenanigans. But it has gotten so bad that when the Space Shuttle was grounded, they didn't even have a replacement. Shoddy, short-term thinking. It's not possible to run a decent manned space program that way.
NASA was ordered by the President to clean up its crony-bureaucratic act after the Challenger disaster, clear back in '86. It never did. It was ordered to do so again after the Columbia disaster. It still hasn't.
If it finds itself unable to do so, inevitably it will be replaced.