Buffett, Bezos, Dimon partner to tackle the U.S. healthcare system

The three mega companies—Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase—will pursue the formation of an independent company that is “free from profit-making incentives and constraints” when it comes to U.S. employee healthcare.

January 30, 2018 |
“The ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” said Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO.

“The ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” said Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO. Photo: flickr creative commons

In a press release posted this morning on the Berkshire Hathaway website, the multinational conglomerate holding company announced its intentions to partner with tech behemoth Amazon and financial giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. to form an independent company focused on addressing healthcare for their U.S. employees, with the aim of improving employee satisfaction and reducing costs. 

“The ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” said Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO, in the statement.

“Our group does not come to this problem with answers," he added. ”But we also do not accept it as inevitable. Rather, we share the belief that putting our collective resources behind the country’s best talent can, in time, check the rise in health costs while concurrently enhancing patient satisfaction and outcomes.”

Buffett said the new company will be free from profit-making incentives and constraints, and will focus initially on “technology solutions that will provide U.S. employees and their families with simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost.”

More from the press release:

“The healthcare system is complex, and we enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “Hard as it might be, reducing healthcare’s burden on the economy while improving outcomes for employees and their families would be worth the effort. Success is going to require talented experts, a beginner’s mind, and a long-term orientation.”

“Our people want transparency, knowledge and control when it comes to managing their healthcare,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co.. “The three of our companies have extraordinary resources, and our goal is to create solutions that benefit our U.S. employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans,” he added.

The effort announced today is in its early planning stages, with the initial formation of the company jointly spearheaded by Todd Combs, an investment officer of Berkshire Hathaway; Marvelle Sullivan Berchtold, a Managing Director of JPMorgan Chase & Co.; and Beth Galetti, a Senior Vice President at Amazon. The longerterm management team, headquarters location, and key operational details will be communicated in due course.

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