If the White House really wanted employers to carry the health insurance then they would make the penalty for not doing it more expensive than providing it. They are doing the exact opposite. By making it cheaper for an employer to pay a penalty, they give no insentive for them to provide the insurance. With these government regulated pools and fines for individuals not carrying insurance, they will then make people be on some sort of government regulated insurance.
The reason it won't be a bargaining chip anymore is because if they get what they want, then these pools will be so much cheaper that it would be ridiculous for an employer to offer insurance. They could then spin it by saying that it proves that they do insurance better.
Personally, I think it is a pretty good idea to have these pools. I just don't want the government in it in any way. I also don't like mandating it. But the overall idea of people pooling their money like corporations is not a bad idea.