Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase join to tackle health care costs

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase join to tackle health care costs
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Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced on Tuesday that they’re working together to create a new health-care venture for their own staff aimed at “improving employee satisfaction and reducing costs.”

The three say that they will create a new, independent company “free from profit-making incentives and constraints” to reduce health-care costs for their employees, according to a statement they released on Tuesday.

“The health care system is complex, and we enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty,” said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

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“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.”

The companies didn’t give many details about the project but said that the new company would initially focus on unspecified “technology solutions” to reduce costs and provide better health care.

New services offered by the independent company would only be available to employees in the U.S., where health-care costs are more expensive than in much of the developed world. Health-care spending accounts for roughly 18 percent of the U.S. economy and employers spend thousands in health care per individual employee each year.

The announcement comes after long-term speculation that Amazon would eventually enter the health-care market.