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m. (ET) on Monday of the assigned Module/Week. For each thread, students must support their assertions with at least 1 scholarly citations in APA format. Each reply must incorporate at least 1 scholarly citation(s) in APA format. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years. Reply 1:The marginal benefit curve is a concept that can be used in many situations to explain consumer enthusiasm to spend dollars on a product.  When considered in the healthcare world, it helps to explain relationship between costs to a patient for a service and the frequency with which the patient uses those services.  To understand this concept, we need to understand some of the terms that are used.  Hyman defines marginal benefit as “the maximum sum of dollars of expenditure on other goods a consumer is willing and able to give up in order to obtain another unit of a good” (Hyman, 1990).  Marginal utility, on the other hand, is the benefit or pleasure that a consumer experiences from the unit of good that was purchased.  Therefore, the marginal benefit of a specific good equates to the dollar value placed on the marginal utility provided to the consumer by that good.  In general, a marginal benefit curve is downward sloping due to the fact that as consumers obtain more of a good, there is decreasing value placed in obtaining additional units of that good.  This concept can be applied to almost any good or service that is being studied.  In the healthcare world it can be used to examine how people use healthcare and the relationship between use of services, the cost for those services to a patient, and the effect that health insurance has on that relationship.  When a patient has a health concern a schedules a doctors visit, the perceived marginal utility to that patient is significant.  The patient’s willingness to pay for that visit (the good or service) is much greater at that point.  When goes to the appointment, receives a diagnosis, and perhaps is prescribed a new medication regimen or other therapy or treatment plan, a follow-up visit to check on the success of the treatment plan would be in order.  That visit would still be important to the consumer, but if progress is being made and the patient’s condition is improving, the marginal utility would start to decline.  If plotted on a graph the marginal utility to the patient for any subsequent visits after that would steadily decline.  This would impact the patients willingness to pay for those visits, and also demonstrates how the marginal benefit curve works.  As the patient perceives less value in seeing the doctor repeatedly they will be less inclined to pay the cost of the visit.  When the cost to the patient is higher, the patient may be less inclined to schedule repeated visits.  Now, lets see how health insurance factors in to this.  To put it simply, health insurance reduces the patients out of pocket cost for a doctors office visit.  As that out-of-pocket cost decreases, the patient’s willingness to schedule additional visits increases (Feldstein, 2018).  This phenomenon can explain overcrowding of emergency rooms across the healthcare system in the United States.  If the consumers perception is “Oh insurance will pay for it”, they are much more likely to come to the emergency room for complaints that would be much more appropriate for treatment by their primary provider on a non-emergent basis.  This results in emergency rooms that are choked with non-emergency patients, making it difficult for emergency room staff to appropriately care for patients who have real emergencies.Reply 2:  Rationing medical services is one way to control the skyrocketing healthcare costs of the twenty-first century. It may seem crude or insensitive to ration medical services but its important to understand that “society cannot afford to provide all the medical services that would be demanded at zero prices” (Feldstein, 2019, p. 61). Someone must be held responsible for paying for the services rendered and overuse needs to be controlled. In addition, if patients can afford to pay then there is no need to ration the medical care. However, if patients cannot afford to pay and the government is footing the bill, its needs to be able to determine which medical services lead to reduced mortality and a higher quality of life for the patients. There is a delicate balance of cost-effectiveness that needs to be determined. According to a recent study on Cardiovascular treatments, determining the appropriate thresholds for the ratios of cost-effectiveness is difficult (Baal et al., 2018).            The United States is not the only country that has taken steps to ration medical services. Canada and Great Britain both have implemented steps to ration medical services and the results lead to longer wait times for surgical procedures or even denials for critical surgeries like kidney transplants (Feldstein, 2019). One way that the Unites States is attempting to ration medical services is to push more of the cost onto the patient. When patients bear more of the cost, they begin to evaluate the value or cost-effectiveness of healthcare services. They also look at the opportunity cost of spending that money on other items vs the benefits of additional medical services.              A marginal benefit curve can be created to evaluate the relationship between the price and number of visits for medical services. The marginal benefit curve demonstrates that there is a decline because the patient does not receive any additional benefits from more healthcare visits, so the value declines as more medical services are received (Feldstein, 2019). Initially, the patient receives greater benefit compared to the cost of the first service. But as the patient seeks additional services, the benefits received and the value to the patient begin to decline until the value is determined to be less than the cost. Price sensitivity impacts this decision and once again, those that can afford to pay and place a higher value on medical services may not be deterred by price increases, whereas a slight increase may affect those individuals with lower incomes, depending on the type of medical services (Feldstein, 2019). Plotting a marginal benefit curve can provide a visual depiction of the relationship between the prices and number of visits.              Rationing healthcare services is not uncommon to healthcare personnel. The complete lives framework (CLF) designed by Persad, Emanuel and Wertheimer, is a tool that has been used in the past to determine who has had less opportunity to experience life and who would benefit the most from lifesaving healthcare services (Symons, 2021). In the same fashion as the marginal benefit analysis, this system helps to determine where the greatest opportunity is to achieve the greatest value.              From a Christian perspective, the Bible provides the greatest opportunity for a person to learn and understand the value of living a Christ-like life. The benefits far outweigh the cost of reading and educating oneself. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (English Standard Version Bible, 2001, Psalm 103:2). For the benefits will lead us to everlasting life with Christ in heaven.