Peter Coy of Bloomberg/Businessweek is an avid fan of mandates (see his "The Case for Way More Mandates" 7/9-7/15, 2012, p. 24). That is to say he prefers forcing people to do what he thinks they should do rather than persuading them, kind of like what the USSR's rulers practiced routinely. (To mandate presupposes the capacity to impose one's will! And governments are usually powerful enough to accomplish that. It amounts to coercing others, nothing nicer!)
The major argument given for mandates such as Mr. Obama's preferred way to get people to insure their health care is that, well, by getting a lot of people to be part of the system, the cost of it all will not be as high as otherwise. And this is true for a while. If a lot of people are forced to eat at the restaurant I prefer, prices will be lower there. Higher demand for any goods or services leads to lower prices, indeed.