I have argued for a while that one of the undiscussed problems with nationalized or universal health care is that by socializing the costs of individual lifestyle decisions (e.g. eating, drinking, smoking, wearing a bike helmet, etc) it creates a strong financial incentive for the government to micro-manage individual behavior. I call this the health care trojan horse for fascism (other posts here).
Q&O has a good post, quoting from Paul Hsieh, on this very topic.
Here's how I understood freedom and liberty worked:
Of course healthy diet and exercise are good. But these are issues of personal "“ not government "“ responsibility. So long as they don't harm others, adults should have the right to eat and drink what they wish "“ and the corresponding responsibility to enjoy (or suffer) the consequences of their choices. Anyone who makes poor lifestyle choices should pay the price himself or rely on voluntary charity, not demand that the government pay for his choices.
Does anyone have a particular argument with that?
In fact, if you believe in freedom and liberty, there really isn't another choice, is there?
But here's what's being offered as the alternative:
Government attempts to regulate individual lifestyles are based on the claim that they must limit medical costs that would otherwise be a burden on "society." But this issue can arise only in "universal healthcare" systems where taxpayers must pay for everyone's medical expenses.
The article has a lot of good examples that follow. Mr. Hsieh's op-ed is here.
As a side note, I was watching the movie "The Golden Compass" the other day. The author and the original book are quite critical of religion, at least of the organized kind, and the evil fascist entity against which the protagonists fight is a world-controlling church. The movie actually purged most of the religion criticism (or at least made it more subtle) and made the bad buys more generically totalitarian, but hangover criticism of the book stuck to the movie as well.
It was not really a particularly good (or bad) movie, but it had one set of lines spoken by the Nicole Kidman character that I couldn't believe came out of Hollywood. The protagonist, Lyra, asks Kidman about the contradiction between Kidman's unwillingness to let anyone tell her what to do and the rule-making and absolute obedience that her organization demands of all citizens. I need to go back and watch the movie to get it exactly right (of course, no one on the movie sites found it memorable enough to post). But it was something like "Only a few of us are capable of making good decisions for ourselves. We few have to make decisions for everyone else. It is really for their own good." It was really a brilliant summary of the modern political mentality, and slipped through I think only because people in Hollywood took it as a criticism of the religious right, not recognizing it as an equally damning indictment of the left. (if anyone has the exact quote or a link, please post. It was on the dirigeable fairly early in the movie, I think).
Update: OK, the Golden Compass lines I wanted start about the 3:00 minute mark in this video [thanks to commenter for showing how to link to a specific point in a YouTube video]. Here is how I transcribed it:
Kidman (Mrs. Coulter): The Magesterium [the world-girdling totalitarian organization] is what people need, to keep things working, by telling people what to do.
Lyra: But you told the master that you do whatever you please
Kidman: That's right, clever girl. Well, some people know what's best for them, and some people don't. Besides, they don't tell people what to do in a mean and petty way, they tell them in a kindly way, to keep them out of danger.
Its really hilarious to read through reviews, as I have trying to find this quote. Apparently (though I missed it at the time) it became a left-right debate about the movie. The hilarious part is all the left-leaning blogs criticising the right for not seeing how well the shoe fits, without for a second considering that this is a perfect recitation of their end game as well.
Again, about 3:00 into the below: