Amazon part of giant health care venture

9:50 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 Business
FILE

Three corporate giants — Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co. — announced today they are planning a joint health care venture to control the cost of employee health care.

The companies said in a statement they plan to launch an independent company “that is free from profit-making incentives and constraints” and will initially focus on technology solutions that will provide “simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost.”

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“The ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” stated Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett. “Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable.”

The effort announced today is in its early planning stages, with the initial formation of the company jointly spearheaded by Todd Combs, an investment officer of Berkshire Hathaway; Marvelle Sullivan Berchtold, a Managing Director of JPMorgan Chase; and Beth Galetti, a Senior Vice President at Amazon. The longer-term management team, headquarters location and key operational details will be communicated in due course.