Amazon, JP Morgan and Warren Buffett announce they are launching independent healthcare company for their MILLION employees

Daily Mail

Amazon, JP Morgan and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway are launching an independent healthcare company for their US employees.

The business giants announced the plan on Tuesday in a joint statement where Buffett described their shared desire to tackle the ‘hungry tapeworm’ of current US healthcare models.   

It will begin with their own employees – close to one million in the US – but the trio has clear hopes for the model to eventually be available to the entire country.

‘Our goal is to create solutions that benefit our US employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans,’ Jamie Dimon, the President and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said.

Few additional details have been released but Buffett, whose holding company is Berkshire Hathaway, said their solution aimed to make healthcare more affordable for their workers.

The joint venture sees the titans of three industries – investments, online retail and banking – tackle the issue of healthcare with unprecedented resources and in times of increasing legislative uncertainty.

All three were strong proponents of President Obama’s public healthcare program, dubbed Obamacare, before uniting to create an exclusive private provider system.

Buffett, 87, said the initiative will not solve all of the current problems with current models but hoped the venture would simplify healthcare plans.

‘The ballooning costs of (health care) act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy. Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable,’ he said in a prepared statement which was released on Berkshire Hathaway’s Business Wire.

‘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.’

The new company will be independent and ‘free from profit-making incentives and constraints’.

‘The initial focus of the new company will be on technology solutions that will provide US employees and their families with simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost,’ the statement read.

‘Tackling the enormous challenges of healthcare and harnessing its full benefits are among the greatest issues facing society today.

‘By bringing together three of the world’s leading organizations into this new and innovative construct, the group hopes to draw on its combined capabilities and resources to take a fresh approach to these critical matters.’

Shares in health care companies took a big hit in early trading Tuesday, suggesting the threat of the new entity to how health care is paid for and delivered in the broader economy.

The chairman and CEO of Aetna responded positively to today’s announcement, acknowledging that ‘there is an unmet need in health care.

‘Individuals and families want a simple, affordable and high-quality experience that helps them stay well,’ he said.

He compared Aetna’s combination with CVS to the joint efforts of Buffett, Bezos and Dimon, and said that he is ‘encouraged to see other companies working toward the same goal.’

Any solutions the soon-to-be-formed company devises would find a huge and receptive audience. With about 151 million non-elderly people, employer-sponsored coverage is the largest part of the US health insurance market.

Companies get a tax break for offering health benefits to their workers, and many employers also see them as a critical tool for attracting and keeping workers.

Just over half – 55.7 percent – of Americans get their health insurance from their employers, and about 20 percent are insured through the federal program, Medicaid.

With insurance, individuals are only responsible for a copay, while their health care provider covers the rest of the cost of a doctor’s visit, medical appointment, procedure or emergency.

A visit to a primary care physician, for example, comes with an average co-pay between $15 and $25. Without insurance the same appointment costs an average of $160, according to research from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

But insurance costs are soaring and health care consumes a growing chunk of companies’ budgets. Small businesses have been under particular strain.

While 95 percent of large companies offer insurance, only 50 percent of companies with three to 49 employees offered coverage last year, according to the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.

That’s down from 66 percent more than a decade ago.

The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires all companies with 50 or more full-time employees to offer it.

The ACA also required all individuals to have some form of insurance – through their employer, privately purchased, or through Medicaid – or pay a tax penalty, but that dictate was repealed with the passage of the new tax reforms in December.

Health care is a top priority for Americans, 82 percent of whom rated it as the most important topic for the president to shed some light on in his next State of the Union Address, according to a recent poll from Morning Consult and Politico.

In light of the rampant uncertainty surrounding health care in this country, Tuesday’s announcement was met with excitement from industry experts.

Ed Kaplan, who negotiates healthcare plans for large companies on behalf of Segal Consulting, told The New York Times: ‘It could be big.

‘Those are three big players, and I think if they get into health care insurance or the health care coverage space they are going to make a big impact.’

Dr Brendan Saloner, a professor of health policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomber School of Public Health says that ’employers have not wanted to be in [the health care] business because they view it as a nuisance,’ he says.

Though employer-sponsored insurance is still the ‘backbone’ of the American healthcare system, ‘it has been eroding because it has been a hassle to try to manage this as a human resource program.’

But, he suggests, companies like Amazon – with its massive warehouses – may be uniquely positioned for a new approach to that problem by having onsite health care that could cut corporate costs while adding value for employees.

On the other hand, ‘these are companies with large white collar work forces, populations that are more used to a more boutique, catered healthcare experience, so I’m interested to see what for lower wage workers.’

The Kaiser Permanente insurance network – among the largest not-for-profit providers in the US, covering 11.7 million people – arose from an unconventional, prepaid approach to insurance and health care.

Dr Saloner says it is seen as one of the most innovative insurance programs in the country, and could be an analogue for what Amazon, JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway might do.

The trio of companies have revealed no details about their unnamed program, but Dr Saloner speculates that Amazon’s hometown of Seattle will be the first place to watch for a ‘ripple effect’ on the healthcare system.

As the announcement was made on Tuesday, the Amazon’s executives continued with their search for their second HQ.

Competition to host the headquarters drummed up an astonishing bidding war from cities and states across the country, many of whom offered drastic tax breaks and incentives in exchange for being chosen.

It will bring 20,000 new jobs to whichever city is eventually chosen.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5329705/Amazon-JPMorgan-Berkshire-creating-new-health-care-company.html#ixzz55hmMI6Yz
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6 thoughts on “Amazon, JP Morgan and Warren Buffett announce they are launching independent healthcare company for their MILLION employees

  1. The buffet of healthcare.

    All you can eat.

    Its a pretty strong statement that the guburmental healthcare society is so bad..

    That even capitalist blood suckers don’t even want it.

    1. Hey K…

      I feel guilty I didn’t pass this info onto you and the trenchers…

      If you get a chance…

      There is a podcast on the Joe Rogan experience. .. a week or so ago…

      With Mel Gibson and Dr. Riordan that does stem sell research.

      I listened to it because I thought Mel Gibson wad going to be drunk and blame the Jews in a rant.

      But much to my surprise it actually was very informative.

      Because I believe in viable practical solutions.

      In a world of fkd up answers.

      Njoy.

  2. “Amazon, JP Morgan and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway are launching an independent healthcare company for their US employees.”

    Seriously?

    Can’t even get past the first damn sentence without hitting a typo.

    “Amazon, JP Morgan and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway are launching an independent deathcare company for their US employees.”

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