Although the new White House administration has made sweeping changes to the tax code and business regulatory practices, health care remains an issue unsolved.
Three entities outside the political landscape seek to combat the health care market that acts “as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” according to Warren Buffet, head of Berkshire Hathaway.
Buffet’s company joined Amazon and JPMorgan Chase in January, announcing a partnership to address health care for their U.S. employees. The three firms combined employ roughly 1 million people.
“Our group does not come to this problem with answers,” Buffet said in a statement. “But we also do not accept it as inevitable.”
Among these three companies, resources seem endless.
Berkshire Hathaway influences a handful of companies in different American markets including Kraft, Duracell and Geico.
Based on assets, JPMorgan Chase is the largest bank in the country. Amazon, on the other hand, is a growing e-commerce behemoth, and some companies worry that the company may pursue involvement in the pharmaceutical industry.
This move all but confirms that. It is common that larger companies test public policy on their own employees moving to serve the entire market.
It also comes in the wake of a $69 billion merger between CVS and Aetna. The acquisition has yet to be approved.
The American health care system is a problem. If the government isn’t taking care of it, why not these companies?
Since 1999, health care premiums have risen 250 percent.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos says he believes technology can be used to “simplify” the process.
“The health care system is complex,” Bezos said in a statement. “We enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty.”
Buffett cited the health care market as a top perpetuator of American income inequality.
“We share the belief that putting our collective resources behind the country’s best talent can, in time, check the rise in health costs while concurrently enhancing patient satisfaction and outcomes,” he said.
The goal is to create a sustainable, affordable health care system for all Americans. Who doesn’t want that?
“Our people want transparency, knowledge and control when it comes to managing their health care,” said CEO and Chairman of JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon in a statement. “The three of our companies have extraordinary resources, and our goal is to create solutions that benefit our U.S. employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans.”
In 1915, Henry Ford wanted all his employees at his Detroit factory to enjoy health care benefits. The firm — Henry Ford Health System — still operates today, employing roughly 30,000 people in Metro Detroit.