Go read Harpers. It's all about regulatory capture! *
The private insurance industry, as currently constituted, would collapse if the government allowed real competition. The companies offer no real value and so instead must create a regulatory system that virtually mandates their existence and will soon actually do so.
Of course, the private insurance companies are artificial persons, just like the banks, and so our democratic system mandates the successful pursuit of happiness for them -- which in their case consists of extracting as much blood from the unprotesting flesh of as many real persons as possible, in the form of profits. Be happy that you are helping them live long and prosper! It's your duty as a citizen!
UPDATE The article is also a complete takedown of Krugman's deeply bogus column here. (And how in the name of sweet suffering Jeebus is the Senate bill "fiscally responsible" when it leaves $350 billion on the table, and is still going to leave costs heading toward the stratosphere?)
NOTE * That's important because the same thing happened with the banksters. So it's all the same problem.