The Washington Post has a story, ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/24/AR2006122400589.html ), about the new Democratic majorities in the House and Senate wanting to put health care back on the table. Since the defeat of the Clinton administration's efforts in 1993-1994, there has not been a major effort to reform the nation's health care system. Polls show growing dissatisfaction with the system, increases in costs to employers, and growing numbers of uninsured Americans.
According to a Republican Senator quoted in the story Democrats will not be able to get universal health care enacted. If that is true, and we are not sure it is, then that means that reform will be centered around continuation of the employer based system we now use. American's employer based system is putting American business at a competitive disadvantage against companies based in countries that have universal health care provided and funded by the national government. One reason why Toyota enjoys a competitive advantage against American automakers is that Toyota doesn't have the same costs for employee health insurance as American automakers.
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) plans to introduce a bill to provide health insurance for all Americans using a centrally financed system of private insurance companies. ( Senator Wyden's website offers links to a more detailed description of his plan. You can link here: http://wyden.senate.gov/ ). If Democrats could deliver solid reform of the nation's health care system, not only would they be doing the right thing, but also the politically advantageous thing.