The plan reflects some of Obama's Burkean leanings, illustrated very well in Larissa MacFaquhar's excellent profile in the New Yorker. Obama's upbringing seems to have left him with a sense of caution about vast social changes. One can see the influences of this thought in the health care plan. Take, for instance, its lack of an individual mandate, which has caused both Ezra Klein and Jonathan Cohn to deny that it's a truly "universal" plan (this is a quibble, and both Ezra and Jonathan know it). But the plan is designed such that everyone who wants to can afford to be insured, creating conditions wherein an individual mandate would, in the future, be sensible. As Ezra says, the plan "will take us much further along the road, ensure full coverage for all children, and create a system in which mandates could be more easily added later on." This philosophy is also evident in the plan's creation of a separate public insurance system for the unemployed, the self-employed, small businesses, and those whose employers deny them insurance. This is a system that, as Ezra points out, would be "trivial to expand it in the future, letting all businesses, or all individuals, buy in." The overarching philosophy of the plan seems to be that the government must make America safe for universal health insurance before actually creating it.
Overall, the plan is a fiscally prudent method to insure the vast majority of the currently uninsured, while setting the stage for a more universal system in the future.