There are two forms of paternalism at least as I see it. One that obviously comes from our parents as shocking as that may sound and I believe the only people it should come from. And as annoying as and in some cases positive parental paternalism may sound, our parents at least tend to have our best interests at heart even when they go too far.
But then there is what I call governmental paternalism whether it comes from governmental laws, or proposals to create new paternalistic laws and they are basically built around the notion even if they are done with the best intentions, that government knows best what the people themselves need for their own good. Things like proposals to outlaw homosexual activity or pornography from the Far-Right. To having the Federal Government regulate marriage in the United States.
To paternalistic proposals from the Far-Left in trying to regulate what people can eat, drink or smoke for our own good. Because paternalists on the Far-Left believe they know best what people should be eating, drinking and smoking. And as much as right-wingers especially those right-wingers who may have some governmental paternalistic views when it comes to social issues, like to label the Affordable Care Act as paternalistic, it is not. Because what it does with the minimum health insurance requirement is to say that everyone is required to have enough health insurance to meet their own individual health care needs.
So people in America can’t past their own health care costs on to other people. The Affordable Care Act doesn’t require people to live healthy and take care of themselves. What it says is that we are all responsible for our own health care costs at least those of us who can afford our own health insurance. And for those of us who choose to live unhealthy, they can still do that, but they won’t be able to pass the costs of their unhealthy decisions on to other people.