OK, I will concede that it is not state run, however, it is a mandated program where those who don't participate are fined. It is the exact same kind of individual mandate that is part of Obamacare. The kind of mandate that was recently found unconstitutional by a federal judge. Now, is this a conservative principle?
The personal responsibility clause of the original plan was that those who do not wish to purchase insurance would float an account for 10K that would cover unexpected health care expenses.
The state forces individuals to purchase auto insurance, have for as long as I have been paying attention, and abuse has not occurred in that regard. That said, the free care -- which has been and continues to be a significant problem nationally -- that has been thoroughly abused.
The conservative answer to that would be to end free care. You don't have insurance, or cash to pay for emergency treatment? then you get none. Absent of that, the taxpayers in the state of MA were paying to the tune of $1 billion + for those "personally responsible" folks who had no insurance. Romney wanted to end that. His original plan was a good one. Unfortunately, MA was probably not the state to implement such a policy as like everything else they touch, the Democrats totally ruined it.