Amazon, Berkshire, JPMorgan announce plan to drive down healthcare costs
by Leigh Jones
Posted 1/30/18, 11:29 am
Amazon is teaming up with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to form a new company that could disrupt the U.S. healthcare industry in the same way the online retailer has changed the way consumers buy just about everything. The new venture, as yet unnamed, will help employees of all three companies find reasonably priced healthcare services. “The ballooning costs of [healthcare] act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” Berkshire founder Warren Buffett said in a prepared statement. “Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable.” It’s not clear yet whether the new company will offer its services to the general public, but healthcare industry investors are worried. Stocks in healthcare companies took a hit Tuesday before trading officially began. In a joint statement, Buffett, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said the joint healthcare venture would be “free from profit-making incentives and constraints” and would focus on technology that provides “simplified, high-quality, and transparent” care. The effort will attempt to drive down costs for doctors visits, lab tests, and other medical costs by revealing price differences and encouraging competition.
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Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.