That came about in one of the meetings with Democrats and I think Obama where they promised not to instituted any form of legislation against price gouging in order for them (pharmaceutical companies) to pledge a bunch of money into the system and getting the bill passed.
I think one of the clearer things to do with this, if we had to go the path would be the following. Government covers big things. Cancer, diabetes, organ transplants, etc. Expensive procedures which cost a lot of money and one reason why insurance premiums are high and the whole "pre-existing condition" thing. Regular healthcare like going to see a doctor, getting a prescription for a cold, broken bones, etc. can be handled then through private insurance. That would decrease the cost of private insurance and make it more affordable to most people. Something like that would benefit a larger number of people than what we're going to get which is basically mandating that we have insurance and enforcing it through the IRS and police.