An announcement in Jan. 2017 was made that three corporate CEOs, Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon, have formed an alliance to find a better way to deliver healthcare to their U.S. employees and families (the 3 companies together have over 800,000 U.S. employees). In an increasingly confusing, complex and expensive healthcare delivery environment, solutions to reign in costs and improve outcomes for patients, have been inadequate. The U.S spends nearly 18% of the nation’s gross domestic product(GDP) on healthcare, while other developed countries spend about 11%.
In this joint venture, each company would contribute an executive to help formulate strategies and a CEO would also be chosen. Buffett remarked that in time this entity would expand to include other businesses. All three leaders envision that the new company would use emerging technologies and be free of “profit-making incentives and constraints”, a spokesperson said.
Buffett and his colleagues are under no delusion about the massiveness of this undertaking. In a recent CNBC interview, Buffett said the goal of the group is to “…find ways to take cost out of the system, while not impairing the quality of what people receive” and to “…figure out a way that the constant increases of percentage of GDP can be at least halted.”
With his characteristic optimism, Buffett believes that, though this is an issue which has stumped many industry leaders up to now, solutions can be found by putting their collective resources behind it with fresh approaches and a long-term outlook.