Watch out healthcare – Bezos, Buffett and Dimon have you in their sights
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Watch out healthcare – Bezos, Buffett and Dimon have you in their sights

Billionaire Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has made no secret of his desire to conquer the healthcare world. It’s a rare area that Amazon has not yet sought to displace – but that might be about to change. A week ago, news broke that Amazon.com Inc. was planning to join forces with Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (led by Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon, respectively) to “change how health care is provided to their combined 1 million U.S. employees.” Understandably, the announcement sent shock waves through the health-care industry.

Amazon’s share price is up by 69% over the past year

graph 0802 amazon

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Initially, the plan is solely designed to help staff at the three multi-billion dollar companies – but that will change. In a joint statement, they said they plan to set up a new independent company “that is free from profit-making incentives and constraints.” Allegedly, they have revealed this news because they’re on the hunt for a CEO and plan to start partnering with other companies. A person familiar with the matter claims that early ideas on how to keep costs down are to be transparent about the cost of doctor’s visits, and enable direct purchasing of certain medical items.

As is almost always the case when Amazon admits it has its eyes on an industry, stock market disruption followed. This was no doubt exacerbated by the big names Bezos has working with him. Healthcare stocks took a tumble as a result.

graph 0802 amazon 2

In a personal statement, Bezos said: “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.”

Dimon also spoke to the press, saying: “Our goal is to create solutions that benefit our U.S. employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans.”

Warren Buffett, meanwhile, who has long had a reputation in the investment world for his way with words, was slightly more forthright. He told reporters that: “The ballooning costs of health care 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.”

Disclosure

Dominion holds Amazon in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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