As for the state you mention where single payer was “too expensive,” the bills in those states did have big price tags attached to them, but that is misleading since money is fungible, and most people/firms won’t be spending on private insurance if they get it through the government. I would further urge you to look at every one of America’s peer nations that has a National health service or single payer healthcare system as well. They all get better aggregate health outcomes and pay much less than we do on healthcare, so to say that it is too expensive is really not the case.
By “sit home during the midterm”, I assume you are talking about people that supported Sanders or some third party, since nobody “threw a tantrum” in 2014 or 2010. If so, that doesn’t really make any sense because we haven’t had a midterm since the 2016 elections. We are told we are electing Trump/Bush/whatever Republican candidate is up for election each year if we promote or vote for a third party for president, and we are told we are weakening and dividing the Democrat party if we try to work within it to reform it. There is no way to win here for us.