Three corporate giants just announced they’re throwing their hats in the ring to try to solve America’s healthcare problems and Senator Bernie Sanders is here for it.
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Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon, and JPMorgan Chase announced their intention this morning to partner on an independent health care company free from profit-making incentives to serve the 1.1 million employees on their payrolls.
BREAKING: Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon, and JPMorgan Chase partner on health care for their US employees through creation of “an independent company that is free from profit-making incentives and constraints” https://t.co/cnJS0BvXFU
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) January 30, 2018
Senator Sanders saw what they were doing and tweeted out his cautious optimism.
Could this be the beginning of the American business community understanding that a not-for-profit Medicare for All, single payer system makes sense not only for the average American, but for the business community as well? https://t.co/jC7G7g7ub5
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 30, 2018
Sanders has vocally advocated for single payer health care for years.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Berkshire CEO Warren Buffet, and JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon have not yet settled on the mechanics of how this plan will actually work, but they have announced their intention.
The companies aim to improve employee satisfaction and reduce healthcare costs. The entity they create will focus on technology solutions to improve the healthcare experience.
“The ballooning costs of healthcare 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. Rather, we share the belief that putting our collective resources behind the country’s best talent can, in time, check the rise in health costs while concurrently enhancing patient satisfaction and outcomes,” said Warren Buffett.
Experts say this signals a likely move in the healthcare industry towards more vertical integration of the kind we saw when CVS acquired Aetna recently.
The three mega-companies have no specifics hammered out yet, but their leaders pointed to the sheer size and scale of the enterprises as hopefully both necessary and sufficient to tackle the incredible problem of providing affordable and quality healthcare to employees.
Senator Sanders sees this as a step towards the business community acknowledging the benefits of expanding access to affordable healthcare.
Sanders advocates for a national single-payer healthcare program, a “Medicare for all.” Currently, it’s available to all Americans 65 and over.
A single-payer would streamline the healthcare system, substantially reducing administrative costs and costs overall. It would shift the focus of the healthcare system away from billing administration and debt collection and towards preventive care and actually treating diseases.
Sanders sees this move by Amazon, Berkshire, and JPMorgan Chase as a signal that if the business community leads, maybe political will can follow when it comes to solving the problem of access to affordable healthcare in America.