Lovely. I don't believe that this is some crafty agenda to keep Obamacare problems out of the spotlight, however. I'm pretty sure whoever came up with it genuinely believes it'll keep companies from laying off workers to get under the threshold.
Progressives ARE this naive. The personal mandate relies solely on individuals telling the IRS the truth on their tax forms, after all. I also can't tell you how many I've met who think workplace discrimination laws help 'level the playing field' by forcing bigots to come up with excuses for their bigotry. Show them facts and numbers that irrefutably demonstrate no one's following those laws, and they'll start calling you a monster that disagrees with the laws' intentions. It's like trying to wash a little kid's security blanket.