For the last year, Republicans have been arguing that the individual mandate is a threat to liberty so horrifying that it would make Stalin jealous of its diabolical power. Democrats shouldn't be afraid to invite them to come up with their own alternative to the mandate, then we could discuss it -- so long as they agree that any solution is in the service of universal coverage. Get them to agree to that, and the question of whether we should be moving toward universal coverage will be set aside. We should get to the point where any time a Republican criticizes the mandate, they will be asked how they would get everyone into the system. That would be a discussion on Democrats' terms.