are rarely, if ever, Libertarians
"Mike Konczal has an interesting and useful essay over at Wonkblog on what conservatives don't get — namely, their failure to appreciate that some problems are inherently public in nature, and require public solutions. Somewhat unusually, however, I think that Mike has somewhat missed the point, and engaged in a bit of wishful thinking. His essay is an excellent critique of libertarians; but most conservatives are not libertarians, even if they like to use libertarian rhetoric now and then." (emphasis added RTB)
In addition to this article and Mike Konczal's article I'd recommend reading the first Chapter of Barbara Tuchman's The Proud Tower which discusses the period from 1890 to 1910 in Britain. The chapter discusses Robert Cecil, Marquess of Salisbury, leader of the British Conservative Party and the Prime Minister, and the Bob referred to in the phrase "Bob's your uncle". He saw his role as fighting a rearguard action to preserve the privileges that he and his class possessed in Britain. Nothing else. He was a roadblock to change of any sort (sound familiar?). Unfortunately, he was the living contradiction of John Stuart Mill's statement about stupidity and conservatism. He was a man of considerable brilliance who set his sights on stopping all change, for his own benefit and those of his friends.
"the modern Republican party may be the party of deregulation and low taxes, but it's also the party of social illiberalism."
in William Buckley's God and Man at Yale what Buckley "wanted was, in effect, for those colleges to get back to their proper role, which was religious indoctrination."
" In its heyday National Review was a staunch supporter of free markets; but it was also a staunch supporter of Jim Crow — which wasn't just about the right of white business owners to discriminate against blacks, it was about a system of laws designed to protect white privilege."
"Now, there are some real libertarians out there, particularly in the realm of economics bloggers, but they have no real power base. Even when politicians claim to be libertarian, there are telltale giveaways: the two R. Pauls, father and son, may be unusual in questioning the national security state, but they both have a remarkable tendency to cater to and/or employ white supremacists. (emphasis added RTB)
So there is an interesting debate to be had about the proper extent of the public sphere. But that isn't the debate driving our politics; our left-right split isn't nearly that idealistic, or innocent."</div>
And in the 19th Century, the building of Public Hospitals which were inspired by the idea that everyone deserves access to health care (which is why they were called Public) was widely accepted as a goal to be worked toward. There is abundant literature on the subject as well as the founding of various Schools of Public Health the first of which, if I'm not mistaken (and I may well be) was at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, Md. They even accepted Canadians into the school. I know of one, John FitzGerald, who was there in the early teens of the 20th Century, and I know another personally.