Amazon’s spree of disruption continues.
The company is reportedly teaming up with billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan Chase to form a healthcare company that’s meant to lower insurance costs.
It’s unclear what exactly the new company will do or what place it will find within the current health marketplace, especially when the Affordable Care Act remains under attack from President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers. But the goal at least is clear, as the trio are hoping it will at the very least bring costs down.
The Washington Post reports that some major healthcare companies’ stock prices have already dropped since the news broke, suggesting Wall Street is optimistic that Bezos and company can make a serious dent in how health care works in the United States.
“The ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” said Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett, who will help lead the initiative. “Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable,”
While even Buffett himself appears uncertain what the company will do, a source confirms it will not just be an alternative health insurance company, but a platform of sorts to bring all health care components together.
The three companies’ joint goal is to provide affordable, stable health care for their thousands of employees worldwide. Because most Americans currently receive their health care from their employers, the potential for this new company to bring down overall costs could greatly affect the market.
“The health care system is complex, and we enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty,” Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said. “Hard as it might be, reducing healthcare’s burden on the economy while improving outcomes for employees and their families would be worth the effort. Success is going to require talented experts, a beginner’s mind, and a long-term orientation.”
Details of the venture haven’t been released to the public, and sources say changes to the announced could still arise. But if Amazon’s track record to deliver is any indication, offering an on-demand healthcare platform isn’t so farfetched.