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Inelastic health care

Published August 13, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Those who "wish economics would be taught to everyone" ("Free-market health care," Public Forum, Aug. ) may need a refresher course on the subject.

My economics professor in graduate school used health care as an example for inelastic demand. The very conservative Rand Institute cites health care demand at - 0.17, which means that for every dollar the price is increased, demand only falls by 17 percent.

The free market works best with choice and perfect information — neither of which apply to health care, particularly in rural America. If we are serious about lowering health care costs, we need only look to Australia, Japan, Germany or any other of our universal-care neighbors.

Craig Kelley

Salt Lake City