US Health Reform: not an act of government meddling
Professor Mariana Mazzucato describes how US governments have often been drivers for the creation of new industries and entrepreneurship in health in an article for the Guardian.
The most difficult challenge that US president Barack Obama faced in his attempt to reform the US health care system is the scepticism of US citizens towards the government's role in the economy.
While it is commonly felt in the US that it is ok for the government to protect private property, fund the military and the police, construct schools and motorways, the idea that government should get involved in the functioning of capitalist markets is deemed out of place and dangerous.
This is why the Republican campaign against Obama's reform has worked, by convincing the US public that government intervention in healthcare would mean the government meddling in personal decisions and eventually reducing the incentives for innovation.
But words like "intervention" and "regulation" hide a deep truth; the history of capitalism shows that, in fact, governments have not only intervened in and regulated markets but have often been a driver for the creation of new markets and entrepreneurship.