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The body of a brain-dead potential organ donor lies covered on a bed at Mid-America Transplant Services in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Whitney Curtis)

April 17 (Bloomberg) — Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn’t afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

The law is prompting Beigel and others to spend more at the doctor’s office and pharmacy, and the impact is reflected in the latest data on consumer spending. It climbed by $20.4 billion at an annualized rate adjusted for inflation in February, and $13 billion of the increase came from outlays on health services spurred by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, according to figures from the Commerce Department.

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