TheInsurance companies have always been an effective villain in the health-care reform debate, but this year the industry thought things might be different. Recognizing the growing sentiment for some kind of change and fully aware that universal coverage would help bulk up their rolls as baby boomers age into the Medicare system, private insurers early on declared their (albeit qualified) support for President Obama's health reform effort. So when word came last month that the Democrats were drawing up a new public relations battle plan, the insurance companies were sent reeling -- and seemed to be caught off guard. A late July memo from the House Democratic leadership about how to sell reform during the...

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.