Seriously, "grandma's going to be killed by Obama's healthcare plan" (whatever his plan is, even I don't know) wouldn't work on "we're just going to give medicare to everyone".
The whole "you can't sell single payer" is turning out to be, well, rather questionable. Because the way things are going it's fairly clear you can't sell some godawful hodgepodge either and all the screaming about "you're going to take away my Medicare" indicates that a lot of the people who oppose Obamacare, love Medicare.
When you're trying to explain something, you do so by metaphor in almost all cases. Everyone knows what Medicare is. The majority of people with Medicare are happy with it and even people without Medicare know people (usually their parents or grandparents) who have it, and whom it's working for.
Ruling out "single payer" from the very start was an act of mind-bending incompetence on the level of disbanding Iraq's army during the occupation of Iraq. From a policy point of view "Medicare for all" provides massive savings, and we know it works because the equivalent policies have worked for every other nation in the world who ever implemented then. From a sales point of view it's much harder to demonize Medicare and much easier to explain it. From a negotiation point of view pre-compromising is so stupid that anyone who has spent 5 minutes in a third world bazaar or taken even a single negotiating class knows better.
The current health reform "bills" are turning into a clusterfuck of epic proportions. Scrap them, introduce Medicare for all, target Senators who won't vote for it with bone-crushing ads which ask why they want 22,000 American to die every year who could be saved for less money than the Iraq war cost; explain with nice simple pictures how much money they receive from the insurance industry and note that they are willing to let Americans die in exchange for blood money from the medical industry.
I know it's difficult for Democrats to play hardball since they'd have to grow a spine, but perhaps, just perhaps, it's worth it to save lives, end 70% of all bankruptcies and make sure people who are sick get the care they need?
(Oh, and to save Obama's presidency. )