That's a good piece of history to know about, but this paragraph from Krugman's blog post sums it up.
The point is that if national health reform is going to happen, it will be as the result of a no-holds-barred fight of an entirely different order from what Obama saw in Illinois. The president’s role will have to be far more confrontational, involve far more twisting of arms and rallying of the public against the special interests, than Obama’s role as a state legislator in the Illinois case. And it will take place against a backdrop of fierce attacks not just from the industry but from Republicans who fear, rightly, that any kind of reform will move the country in a more liberal direction.
Dennis Kucinich is the candidate whose ideals come the closest to mine, but I think John Edwards is the candidate most likely to win this fight.