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If they're receiving (or are going to receive) government assistance (through tax credits or deductions or whatever), why not just cut them out of the loop entirely

Well there is the hidden in the open reason that business wants to stay in the game and be the middle middle man....leverage on the employees.

A lot of employees put up with tons of feces, bad working environment, a$$holes for bosses, no voice in health care coverage (ever seen a CEO ask the employees what they want?), and many other bad work practices just to hang on to the paycheck and the medical (as bad as it might be).

Get corporations, and for profit insurance, out of the picture and employers lose that leverage and remove a little more fear from the work place. Many American companies run on fear, pure, plain and simple. Too many use punitive things like two errors and you are fired, kiss the bosses a$$ or else bad review, don't complain about poor working environment or we will have to "reduce in force" the whiners, and on and on.

All in the quest to improve the profits for the "investors" and the upper management because we all know that companies are there to make a few very, very wealthy.

Corporate health care is used as leverage quite often.
Making it a government run, lifelong, anywhere you are working item removes that leverage.

It is worth noting that Social Security had the same effect and in some ways probably helped to end company defined benefit plans.

Without the fear of extreme poverty in old age how is a boss/owner to keep the peons in line and working until the day they die?

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