If you are a smart progressive and think long term, listen to Krugman, listen to Yglesias: Pressure your leaders to pass ObamaCare now! Pass the senate bill, pass the house bill, pass it with or without a reconciliation side-car, pass anything—as long as the effect will be to push the already tottering private system over into a state of complete dysfunction (and any of the bills will do for that), you will have won an enormous long-run victory.
Do not delude yourself that this achievement will be without short-run pain. Probably it will increase Democratic losses in the 2010 elections.1 But permanently putting health-care on an branch-less path towards total state control will be more than worth the price to you. Henceforth, any deficiency in health care will be blamed on stingy Republicans who refuse to fund it adequately; large and powerful constituencies like health care workers, including doctors, will accrete to your base as well as that of your union allies; private health care will become like private primary and secondary education—a luxury good with a few percent market share used only by those rich enough or motivated enough to pay for the public version at the tax office and once more for their private version.
You and your successors will reap these benefits of these shifts for decades and generations when the outcome of the 2010 mid-terms will be a bit of trivia unremembered by any but the most devoted election geeks.
Needless to say, this author views this outcome with as much horror as you should view it with glee. If a similar opportunity had arisen in reverse—that is, permanently reforming the health care sector on a consumer-driven competitive-market basis in return for a temporary loss of political majorities—the author would have gone hoarse urging all who would listen to grasp it with both hands. So he is puzzled that progressives are letting victory slip from their hands so easily.
1 Of course, most of the losers will blue dogs, moderates, and other weak sisters, so don't shed too many tears for them. Most of your favorites will not lose their seats. You may even retain a small, but more ideologically homogeneous majority in both houses of Congress.