Why can't the administration see this? Gosh. It seems so ridiculously OBVIOUS.
But here's a little riddle that any sixth-grader can easily figure out, although it seems to have eluded the brain trust at the White House: If insurance companies are winning big-time, then who is doing the losing? Something tells me that if Democrats are dumb enough to pass their own legislation, voters will provide them the answer to that puzzle in November of 2010, and then again two years later. What could be stupider than saddling thirty-five million Americans with a new monthly bill that will probably represent the second or third biggest item in their budget, in exchange for crappy private sector health insurance that is unlikely to pay out when needed, and wastes a third of the dollars paid in premiums on bureaucracy and profits anyhow? Slapping big fines on them if they don't pony up for the insurance, perhaps? Yep, that's in there too.
This bill alone could mobilize legions of people to go to the polls and vote for whichever party didn't do it, and I'm pretty sure the GOP won't be shy about reminding Americans who that is.
UPDATE: Here's something else along the same lines:
It's from an article called "Forcing Their Hand" by Richard Girard.
To the Democrats in Congress: Pass a strong health care bill, that puts the needs of the American people ahead of the large corporations, while making certain that you point out the ongoing obstructionism of the Republicans, and you are guaranteeing a Democratic Party majority in Congress for a generation. Use the "nuclear option," use reconciliation to offer "Medicare for all at a fee" as an option for the uninsured, fill the "doughnut hole" in Medicare Part D; do this, and the Republican party will be reduced to George W. Bush's "haves and have mores" and the religious theocrats who want the Constitution replaced with the Bible.