Amazon announced this morning that it would join with partners JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway to form a health-care organization for the employees of all three companies. The separate company would focus on technology solutions for providing better health care. Finally, American health care will be disrupted!
What is their plan? According to the press release put out today, they don’t really know, either. “The healthcare system is complex, and we enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said. “Success is going to require talented experts, a beginner’s mind, and a long-term orientation.”
“Our people want transparency, knowledge and control when it comes to managing their healthcare,” said JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. “The three of our companies have extraordinary resources, and our goal is to create solutions that benefit our U.S. employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans.”
On the one hand, rising health-care costs are a significant problem, and Republican (and to some extent voter) intransigence has prevented productive action aimed at finding a sustainable fix. On the other hand, this is the same Jeff Bezos whose warehouse employees are on their feet for hours at a time, afraid to take bathroom breaks, and who don’t get compensated for the extra time they spend having to go through mandatory security screenings every day — and the same Dimon whose consumer bank checking account charges a $12 monthly fee to customers who don’t maintain a minimum balance or regularly put money in via direct deposit, penalizing poor people simply for being poor. Can’t wait to see what they have in store for health care.