Obama's mandate was invented by a conservative to head off single payer
The individual mandate was developed by conservative economist Mark Pauly as an alternative to single payer. “We did it because we were concerned about the specter of single payer insurance, which isn’t market-oriented, and we didn’t think was a good idea,” Pauly told me last year. In the 1990s, the individual mandate was also the Republican counterproposal to President Bill Clinton’s health-care bill, and in 2005, it was the centerpiece of Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s health-care reforms.
So, naturally, Obama adopted it* and the career "progressives" ran interfererence for him by censoring single payer advocates and imposing a news blackout on single payer events.
Have I mentioned lately what an asshole Obama is?
NOTE * Yes, Clinton had a mandate in her plan, too -- making it marginally better than Obama's, because at least the principle of universal coverage was there at the starting point, as a campaign promise. Whether Clinton would have run the "public option" bait and switch scam the same as Obama did we'll never know. It would have been harder for her, though, because all the career "progressives" hate her.