Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Will Bezos, Buffett, and Morgan Conquer American Health Care?

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan plan to tag team America's healthcare insurance industry.

Three corporate giants are teaming up to combat what billionaire Warren Buffett calls a “hungry tapeworm” feasting on the U.S. economy: health care.

Amazon.com Inc., Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. said they plan to collaborate on a way to offer health-care services to their U.S. employees more transparently and at a lower cost. The three companies plan to set up a new independent company “that is free from profit-making incentives and constraints,” according to a short statement on Tuesday.

The move sent shares of health-care stocks falling in early trading. Express Scripts Holding Co. and CVS Health Corp., which manage pharmacy benefits, slumped 6.7 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively. Health insurers Cigna Corp. and Anthem Inc. also dropped.


Anonymous said...

If it weren't for the inclusion of Warren Buffet in that triumvirate I would dismiss this out of hand and start building a wall to keep out the health-care refugees that would begin flooding our southern border if this takes flight. One of the corporate kings of money laundering and corruption and crime-enabling teaming with Bezos - one of the most abusive employers in the modern economy is not a tag-team that I would want anything to do with.

The Mound of Sound said...

I share your concerns, Anon. Buffett is Methuselah. When his departure arrives what will become of this triumverate? Will they use the insurance vehicle they created for 'in house' purposes to expand into and dominate the US insurance market? It is worrisome.

Trailblazer said...

that triumvirate;
Have a record of planning for the future.

I wonder what weakness they see, that they can exploit, within the USA health care ! system?


crf said...

I hope Buffett et al succeed in bringing transparency and other reforms to the US insurance market. If that happens, it will place a lot of pressure on Canada to better spend its health care dollars though, since this is an area where we might have a competitive advantage over the US, especially in economic sectors with highly skilled, educated, mobile workers.

We are starting to take this seriously. The deal just announced between the provinces and drug companies on lowering generic drug costs is one good start though.

We also risk underestimating the Republican congress as just a bunch of clownish reprobates. They have shown that they are not above tackling some difficult issues: in their last budget, they killed much of the federal income tax deduction of state and local taxes: a regressive tax expenditure which had been a Democratic party sacred cow. I expect they'll next try to do tort reform, another D sacred cow, and that would also make US health care more competitive.