First of all, mandating anything is a characteristic of socialism, not capitalism. As I've stated above, the current system is not a free market and this mandate further establishes that fact. Second this lays the ground work for more policies that would lead to a takeover by the Federal Government of the healthcare system.
Obama is completely flipping on this one. He's on a crusade for massive tax hikes now. Even thou history repeatedly shows that tax cuts usually create tax revenues and hikes do the reverse.
With regards to health care, there are a few points that need to be made here. The lesser point is that there is no evidence that the health care bill lays the groundwork for a "government takeover", whatever that means. Even in Canada, health care is not government-run. It's the financing
of health care that's government-run; outside of hospitals, the delivery
is predominantly private (doctors, physiotherapists, pharmacies, etc).
The more important point is that it's not regulations that keep health care from being free-market. It's the nature of health care, which does not in any way obey the rules of supply and demand. First, on a population basis, poor people have far more health problems than the affluent, which is a reversal of the usual pattern of demand in capitalism. Second, and along those lines, there is no way to predict based on someone's resources, what health problems they may develop and what kind of health care they need. Third, health care as practiced now enables suppliers to generate their own demand: the physician determines what tests you need, what treatment you need, and how much follow-up you need. Fourth, is there any good/service with a more inelastic demand than health?
With regards to the "massive tax increases", the Bush tax cuts were ushered in under the rationale that the surpluses at the end of the 90s represented money that needed to be given back to taxpayers. Setting aside any arguments about fairness or duty (because they tend to lead nowhere), the country has massive deficits due to the costs of wars, the economic downturn, and the automatic safety net i.e. unemployment benefits. By that reasoning, there are no surplus dollars to return to the taxpayer. As to Obama flip-flopping, he's a politician; liberal, conservative, socialist, libertarian...they all lie for a living (something I'm confident we can all agree on).