From the Desk of Bob McNett…..

Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon and JP Morgan Announce Alliance on Health Care…..

In an announcement totally devoid of details, Jeff Bezos, chairman of Amazon, announced an alliance between his company, Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, and Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan on healthcare for the employees of all three major companies.  Bezos expressed hope that this effort could possibly benefit not just their employees, but the entire employer-based health insurance market.

Said Buffet “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.”

The new health care company will be independent and “free from profit-making incentives and constraints.”  The joint venture’s focus will be on technology that provides “simplified, high-quality and transparent” care,

JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon said “Our goal is to create solutions that benefit our U.S. employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans.”

All three companies are known as innovators in their fields.  Amazon has disrupted numerous industries ranging from book stores to clothing chains.  Recently, Amazon entered the grocery business with it’s purchase of Whole Foods Market, Inc.

Amazon began business by selling books and music tapes on-line.  Since then, it has changed the way people buy such items as diapers, toys and paper towels.  JP Morgan was one of the very few major banks to emerge from the 2008 “great recession” unscathed and even stronger than before the economic downturn. Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway has been perhaps the most successful investment firm over the last thirty years.

The American health care delivery system is very complex, and some say very inefficient.   Each individual patient’s care is typically customized to that patient’s needs, so the system resists attempts to install standardized, cookie-cutter care for all patients.

Even though the announcement revealed no details of what the approach might be, with these three companies combining their brainpower and innovative skills, it will be interesting to see this program take shape.  Stay tuned for further developments.

Robert K. McNett, LUTCF

The McNett Agency
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