At the time it was enacted, conservatives strongly opposed Medicare, warning that a government-run program would lead to socialism in America:
- Ronald Reagan: “[I]f you don’t [stop Medicare] and I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.” 
- Barry Goldwater: “Having given our pensioners their medical care in kind, why not food baskets, why not public housing accommodations, why not vacation resorts, why not a ration of cigarettes for those who smoke and of beer for those who drink.” 
- Bob Dole: In 1996, while running for the presidency, Dole stated that he was one of 12 House members who voted against creating Medicare in 1965. “I was there, fighting the fight, voting against Medicare ... because we knew it wouldn’t work in 1965.” 
- Libertarians and the Austrian School of economics suggest that social programs such as Medicare fail to participate in theprice mechanism of competition. Bypassing market forces allows for arbitrary pricing and increased utilization of resources by the public (see also marginal utility).