Isn't the other option in the health insurance debate -- to just nationalize all of the health insurance companies? Bam! overnight, single payer national health insurance!
I get that there would need to be political considerations. But if you nationalize the health insurance industry don't you also own all of their assets and lobbyists too? Ta da -- no more money for Harry and Louise ads!!!
If we can nationalize GM because they are bankrupt -- why not nationalize Blue Shield, Kaiser, Aetna etc.? I think a strong case could be made that the health insurance industry is bankrupting our nation and so there is a compelling national security interest in nationalizing the industry (a recent study showed that 60% of U.S. bankruptcies are due to medical bills).
Again it may be politically unfeasible. But if health insurance companies believed, even just a little bit, that nationalization was on the table -- don't you think they'd cooperate a little bit more in the crafting of a national health insurance plan that works for everyone?