Amazon.com, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase have formed a joint venture to provide healthcare to their employees. The trio hope to both improve healthcare provision and cut costs.
The venture will initially focus on developing technology for “simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare” for their US employees.
Eventually, the venture could negotiate directly with pharmaceuticals firms, doctors and hospitals, bringing significant savings on healthcare.
Shares of US health insurers and benefit managers weakened on Tuesday following the announcement.
“Tackling the enormous challenges of healthcare and harnessing its full benefits are among the greatest issues facing society today,” said the firms in a joint statement.
“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,” added Berkshire Hathaway chairman and chief executive Warren Buffett.
Healthcare is a highly contentious issue in the US, where repeated attempts by the Trump administration to jettison the earlier Obama reforms were repeatedly thwarted by lawmakers during 2017.
“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,” said Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos.