The entire purpose of the insurance mandate was to force healthy people to buy policies in order to finance the medicaid expansion. The same reason the feds promised to cover the expanded cost of medicaid for a few years. Once a critical mass of people got an entitlement, it would be impossible to take it away. But the dems badly botched Obamacare and they ended up with ten million paying customers when they expected 20, and wanted 30.
They really blew it with the trick of not indexing the cost of so called “Cadillac” plans. The idea was to wean everyone off employer insurance over a decade or so and force them to accept less generous government plans. The unions realized something was up, and Mr Gruber made it clear exactly what the intent was.