health care system and waterworks
While following the caucuses, I am reading Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 by Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace. I did not know that New York City suffered from yellow fever outbreaks in the late 18th century. I did not know that the Manhattan Company in charge of supplying fresh water hijacked a municipal waterworks project. The company erected a reservoir far smaller than needed by the city and opted for cheaper technologies, keeping the interests of its stockholders uppermost (p.360-361).
I wonder what the difference is between a national health care system and public waterworks. They are both public goods (a waterworks, by the way, does have health consequences ). And yet the former remains a focus of an election in the 21st century. What explains the difference? The power of interested groups? To put it bluntly, the US appears not very different from other industrialized countries insofar as the provision of public goods other than health care is concerned. It is an interesting puzzle to an inquisitive but ignorant mind.