Ayn Rand's brand of libertarianism has always puzzled me. I don't think her vision of utterly independent individuals, only a few of whom are competent and forever under siege by the parasites, is at all like real human life. Even more puzzling, I don't understand why many people find it an attractive vision of life, rather than a dystopian nightmare. Last year I read Atlas Shrugged to gain some insight into the Randians. One of my libertarian churchmates, who had been shaped by the book in his youth, was eager to hear how it affected me, hoping I would join the movement. I told him it was the most preposterous story I ever read. Moreover, her view is so scornful of church - any church - that I didn't see how he as a Christian could reconcile the two.
Rand was particularly scornful of government programs that taxed everyone to help citizens when they are in need, like Social Security and Medicare.
I was particularly interested to learn, therefore, that the recently published memoir of people who knew Ayn Rand, 100 Voices, reveals that she herself went on Medicare. She did not admit this, and went on excoriating the "parasites" who did. Rand, a chain smoker, needed medical help late in life. She allowed her lawyers to quietly apply for the help under her real name, Ann O'Connor.
Rand was entitled to the help of Medicare. She had paid into it as other workers in the commonwealth of the nation did. She was entitled to is as a citizen who was ill and needed help. Rand accepted Medicare. But apparently the reality of her own need did not affect her ideology that people should not be in need.