The price of health-care in the United States is often a deal-beaker for potential employees. Large companies often have the advantage, as their headcount allows them some bargaining power. Now three big companies are coming together to create an independent company that will take this concept to the next level.
Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase, announced Tuesday that they will join forces to take on the market. “The independent company would be jointly led by executives from all three companies,” The Washington Post writes, “and would be focused on technology that could increase transparency and simplify health care, according to the joint announcement. It will be free from the need to deliver a profit.”
“The ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy. Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable,” Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett, said in a statement.
How the new partnership will work is not clear yet. The concept is in the early stages, and how it will work remains to be seen. Yet even the idea of Amazon jumping into the health-care debate has put the industry on notice.
“The healthcare system is complex, and we enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty,” Jeffrey P. Bezos, Amazon founder said in a statement. “Hard as it might be, reducing health-care’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.”
With the distribution expertise of Amazon, the company could redefine the material side of health-care. The volume of employees alone is enough to make Amazon a lucrative health-care client. There are more than 500,000 employees spread across the country.
The new company may be disruptive, too. If it is successful, the concept could be embraced by other large employers, like Walmart, who have largely stayed out of the debate by employing high numbers of part-time employees.