Good Day N.E. Wright
If I had to guess, I would say the health insurance mandate was a Democrat idea. As you know, its not the party of Franklin Roosevelt anymore, and hasn't been for a very long time. Since 1980, when political "common sense" got redefined on the right -- the beginning of an era that many of us refer to the neoliberal turn -- Democrats have been on the defensive.
They began by desperately distancing themselves from the dreaded L-word ("liberal"; mainstream Dems hate that word, they uneasily substitute the word 'progressive' for that). Since 1980, they have always been trying to show how business-friendly and pro-market they were; they were desperate to show that they were the "tax and spend" "bleeding heart liberals" of old.
Its like this on a host of issues, including crime and "national security" issues, and the like. In trying to show how "pragmatic" they are, they often overdo it, in my opinion and actually out-Republican the Republicans....
Anyway, I think it was a Democrat idea -- the healthcare mandate. If there had been a Republican in the White House, perhaps we wouldn't have had healthcare "reform" at all; but always weary of being seen as classic "tax and spend" liberals, the Democratic-controlled congress didn't even bring up a public option; instead we got a measure that even the Republicans probably wouldn't have proposed, the "mandate," which once again, criminalizes poverty.