Amazon, Berkshire, and JPMorgan join forces to take on healthcare

Global Business

Amazon, Berkshire, and JPMorgan join forces to take on healthcare This combination of photos from left shows Warren Buffett on Sept. 19, 2017, in New York, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, on Sept. 24, 2013, in Seattle and JP Morgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon on July 12, 2013, in New York. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon and the New York bank JPMorgan Chase are teaming up to create a health care company announced Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 (AP Photos)

It’s a plan to cut healthcare costs while improving coverage. Three CEOs are teaming up to revolutionize health care for their one million combined employees. While a major announcement – there are only a few details so far.

CGTN’s Jim Spellman explains what we know.

Three American business leaders are teaming up to take on healthcare. Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase and Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway will form a new venture to provide health care for company employees and their families.

In a statement, the trio said it will, “pursue this objective through an independent company that is free from profit-making incentives and constraints.”

“I’m a little surprised they went ahead and made an announcement without saying more about what they are going to do,” said former Medtronic CEO, Bill George. “But never underestimate the power of people like Jeff and Jamie and Warren to do something significant.”

Bringing down the cost of healthcare won’t be easy. A Kaiser Family Foundation study found that the average employer sponsored health insurance premium for a family in 2017 was $18,764. Up three percent over the previous year — up 19 percent since 2012 and up 55 percent since 2007.

The venture, which is yet to be named, will initially focus on technological innovations aimed at lowering healthcare costs.

“Twenty percent of hospitals in the United States are running in the red,” Dr Toby Cosgrove from the Cleveland Clinic said. “We’re working very hard to take costs out and we’ve taken enormous amount of costs out, but we need a more efficient system supporting us.”

The new company will initially focus on employees and their families, but the company said it hopes to one day apply what it learns to the larger healthcare marketplace.