When you’re big enough and powerful enough, you don’t need to rely on the existing private healthcare providers out there to handle your employee medical needs. That’s what Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase have determined, and so they’re working together to build their own, fully independent employee healthcare company, which will exclusively offer benefits and care to their own respective employees and their families.
The goal is to build a company which has no motives other than to provide for the care and wellbeing of the workforce of the three companies, and that will be “free from profit-making incentives and constraints,” per the Wall Street Journal. It’s described as a long-term plan, but it hopes ultimately to avoid the kind of frustration that can go along with trying to secure needed care from third-party service providers who are ultimately concerned primarily with managing their bottom line and P&L statements.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said in a statement about the new venture that though the three partners are “open-eyed about the degree of difficulty” of entering the healthcare system as a services provider, the ultimate goal of “reducing healthcare’s burden on the economy while improving outcomes for employees and their families would be worth the effort.”
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet added that “the ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” and JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon said that the ultimate goal is to “create solutions that benefit our U.S. employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans.”
At this stage, there’s not much to the theoretical company beyond the serious intent to create it shared by all three partners. It’s still in “early planning,” per a press release announcing the news, and has a kick-off temporary management team in place with executives from each organization, and a plan to set up longer-term management structures and an operating HQ in the near future.
The focus, unsurprisingly, will be on figuring out how tech solutions might be able to help lower the costs of healthcare while ensuring better quality of services to U.S.-based employees of all three companies and their families. But as Dimon’s comments above suggest, it seems like if this triumvirate feels like they are building something that could be applied even more broadly, they will do so in due course.
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