Amazon, Warren Buffett and JPMorgan are forming a new company to address the health care costs of their employees, sending shares of health care companies down sharply across the entire sector despite the vague nature of the announcement.
On Tuesday Amazon’s Jeff Bezos said that he, along with Buffet and JPMorgan, would attempt to make health care better for hundreds of thousands of their employees, and perhaps, eventually, the country.
There were few details and those involved said the project is in the early planning stage.
“The ballooning costs of (health care) act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” said Buffett, the head of Berkshire Hathaway, in a prepared statement. “Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable.”
The new company will be independent and “free from profit-making incentives and constraints.” The businesses said the new venture’s initial focus would be on technology that provides “simplified, high-quality and transparent” care.
It was not clear if the ultimate goal is to eventually move beyond Amazon, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan. However, JPMorgan Chairman and CEO Jaimie Dimon said, “our goal is to create solutions that benefit our U.S. employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans.”