I was happy to hear that President Obama was dissatisfied with the mandate language in the Baucus Plan.
OBAMA: I think that what they were referring to – and I haven't looked at the quotes. But I think that they were concerned about whether or not this was actually affordable. If you're saying to people, you've got to get health insurance but they can't actually afford it and they have to pay a penalty if they don't get it, then that's a pretty big burden on middle class families. That's a concern I share -- making sure that this is affordable.
In short: the Baucus Plan as written is a "pretty big burden on middle class families."
Hopefully this means the White House will push for expanded subsidies and a public option so those of us in that $66,000 range won't be totally screwed by Max Baucus and his mafia bosses.
To be clear, individual mandates are necessary and, in a manner of speaking, all industrialized nations (including Canada, England, France, et al) have mandates insofar as everyone is mandated by law to pay into the system whether by premiums or taxes. However, if mandates become law, there has to be an affordable public plan and subsidies so the government isn't forcing people into bankruptcy over healthcare.