Sherry Glied talks about health insurance mandates is in today's New England Journal of Medicine.
Here's the last graph:
Perhaps the most important benefit of mandates is symbolic. By mandating the purchase of health insurance, governments signal to their citizens that coverage is critical. For many uninsured people as well as their families, communities, and elected representatives, this public commitment to coverage may lead to a reassessment of priorities. Although making mandates functional will be demanding, just passing a mandate may serve an important purpose by moving health insurance higher on the agendas of all these constituencies.
This program aired on April 10, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.