Go Big Or Go Home
I don't remember where I saw it, but on some liveblog of last night's Republican debate, there was a comment about the fact that, if the Republicans are so keen to call anything the Democrats do "socialized medicine," no matter if it's an individual mandate or single-payer Medicare for all or just guaranteed issue with some subsidies, then why don't the Democrats offer a plan that's, well, socialized medicine? You're not going to see Republicans praising any plan that comes from Democrats on health care, even if it's completely market-based like John Edwards', which allows a public plan to compete with private insurance to see which type of coverage people prefer.
I would extend this out to health insurers, who are sure to demagogue the issue as well and call whatever plan Democrats come up with, however nuanced, "socialized medicine" or "government-run health care." One thing conservatives still believe they can do is demonize government as the root of all evil. Recent polling shows that most Americans want universal health care and will pay more in taxes to get it done. So why not sign everybody up to a government plan and give the people what they want, instead of trying to thread the needle with a compromise that will never get those bound to criticize it to your side?
I'm arguing this more rhetorically than anything; once you get into the nitty-gritty of legislation, you'll have to get at least SOME moderate Republicans on board. But why can't a Democratic candidate come out and say "You know what, you're darn right it's socialized medicine, it works for every other industrialized country on the planet, and it'll work a heck of a lot better than the for-profit insurance scam we have going on now." My sense is that would work.