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Health care difficulties Economics 101

Winthrop Quigley in his Sunday Upfront column on the front page of the Albuquerque Journal gives us a feature evaluating Obamacare.

I would reproduce part of this piece: “Now that more people can pay for coverage, other concerns are arising. … Difficulty accessing care is a big trend, partly because there are not enough medical providers for the care the ACA has unleashed, and partly because for many people insurance is still unaffordable.”

We see here copious compassion for the “non-accessing” group.

Last week an op-ed from a University of New Mexico student, who also pleaded the case for the poor and uninsured, was published as she pitched the “single payer” system prevalent in many European countries.

For the edification of readers I will point out that this term means free, government paid, health care for all. Just as the term “corporate greed” is often found dripping from the mouths of our social liberal friends, the term “socialized medicine” drips from the mouths of the conservative set. Socialized medicine is a common label given to the “single payer” system.

Anyone who has taken Econ 101 knows what happens to price when the quantity demanded goes up. Before the quantity supplied responds, price skyrockets.

Obama just put millions of new patients into the quantity demanded while the quantity of supplies is still at the old level. The gap between the quantity demanded and that supplied created higher prices.

It should be pointed out that when I was an undergrad economics major, one of my favorite fields was comparative economic systems, so I am not here representing a hostile voice against last week’s proponent of the single payer system. If we choose to take our experiment in this direction, I am on board with that; I just seek to provide some countervailing information.

All sides of the story must be considered. And as such, I would point out that both Quigley and the UNM student last week, along with almost all other voices on the subject that make their way into print, focus on the poor and neglected consumer while neglecting the secondary impacts.

I am one of those secondary impacts.

We came to Albuquerque two and a half years ago so that our daughter, Melanie, could attend UNM. They have a good department for her specialty.

As I was 67 at the time, I signed up for Medicare under the Lovelace Advantage plan, which was soon to be sold to Blue Cross just as the ACA was coming online.

Suffice it to say that my “out-of-pocket” cost has doubled so far this year and what was once affordable, given my fixed income, is no longer.

I am now one of those who is considering not having needed procedures. I am part of the neglected fallout.

This side too deserves some consideration.

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