3 Corporate Giants to Go After the 'Hungry Tapeworm'

Amazon, JPMorgan, Berkshire Hathaway will team up on health care
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2018 8:22 AM CST
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...   (AP Photos)
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(Newser) – "The ballooning costs of health care act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy," says Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, and he has teamed up with some equally huge names in an attempt to go after said tapeworm. Amazon.com, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase on Tuesday announced that they'd be creating a company tasked with coming up with technological solutions that can cut health-care costs for their hundreds of thousands of US employees. "Our group does not come to this problem with answers," Buffett notes—nor, reports the Wall Street Journal, with details on how much it plans to spend, where the company's HQ will be, or how many of its own employees would be impacted—"but we also do not accept it as inevitable."

What the companies' leaders did reveal is that the new company will be "free from profit-making incentives and constraints." "The healthcare system is complex, and we enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty," says Jeff Bezos of Amazon, per CNBC, which notes the three companies employ a total 1.1 million workers, though that figure is not exclusive to the US. The AP reports it's unclear whether the trio would welcome other companies into the effort, but it does flag this line from JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon: "Our goal is to create solutions that benefit our US employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans." But they're not exactly benefiting Wall Street at the moment: Pre-market trading was unkind to health care companies, with the AP noting they represented eight of the 10 down companies on the S&P 500.

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