If you don't perform routine maintenance on your car and the engine seizes up, your car insurance still won't pay out. If you don't perform routine maintenance on your body and your heart seizes up, your "major medical" policy would have to pay out.
Then there are the people that can't afford even the major medical policy or the routine maintenance. What do we do with them? Turn them away from the emergency room and let them die, or have the people that can pay pick up the tab like we do today? It seems like maybe helping them get routine maintenance might work out less expensive in the long run.
I certainly don't know the right answer, but I don't think it as simple as going back to the good old days, and I doubt those days were as good as people seem to think.