Health and consumer finance are hard to disentangle. Social and power structure in the imperfect healthcare market favor suppliers and their regulators. The asymmetric control of resources and information by the industry renders consumers impotent in finding the optimum levels of medical goods and services, and transforms them to patients in search of affordable healthcare. A critical outcome is the fact that about half of collection activities that are reported to the main credit agencies are related to medical bills owed to providers. However, in the healthcare arena consumer sovereignty is tethered by: 1) the uncertainty about the nature and timing of the need for medical care; 2) reliance on providers’ credence rather than the goods and services; 3) the spiral bureaucracy and the captured regulators; and 3) the inherent moral and morale hazards in receiving, providing, financing and regulating healthcare. These tethers box a consumer as a patient and cause a simultaneous feedback between health and finance, which adversely impacts consumers’ long-term wellbeing and financial standing in the economy.

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