Different Takes: Will Amazon’s Venture Be A Breakthrough In Lowering Healthcare Costs?
Editorial pages feature writings on the new initiative between Amazon, JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Los Angeles Times:
Universal Coverage, Courtesy Of The Corporate World? It's Possible
Took 'em long enough. After decades of government leaders fumbling efforts to introduce some rational thinking to the over $3-trillion U.S. healthcare system, the corporate world has finally stepped in with an initiative that, in the best of all possible worlds, could provide a breakthrough that shows the way to universal coverage. (David Lazarus, 1/30)
The New York Times:
Can Amazon And Friends Handle Health Care? There’s Reason For Doubt
The announcement on Tuesday that Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway would be joining forces to create a health care company moved stock markets and prompted optimistic predictions of major reform in a notoriously complex industry. But while the three companies bring successful management, technological expertise and substantial capital to the venture, many health industry experts expressed doubts about whether their results would match their ambition. (Margot Sanger-Katz and Reed Abelson, 1/30)
Can Amazon Transform Health Care? It's Not A Crazy Idea
While the initial focus will be on technology, and the efforts will initially be aimed only at employees of the three firms, one suspects that the ambitions are slightly bigger: building a business that can somehow tamp down the pressures that drive health-care costs ever upward. In remaking the market for health-care services, they might even divert some small fraction of that gross national spending into their own pockets. (Megan McArdle, 1/30)
Amazon/Berkshire/JPMorgan Health Venture: Incumbents Should Fear
The great and oft-heralded Amazon.com Inc. foray into health care is here, and it's not what we expected. The company isn't diving headlong into drug distribution or becoming a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM). Along with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Berkshire Hathaway Inc., it announced a more interesting idea Tuesday -- a new company aimed at lowering the cost of employee health coverage. Though no one sector will face the full wrath of Bezos, this joint venture is a potential competitive threat to all of health care's many middlemen. (Max Nisen, 1/30)
JPMorgan Health Venture Poses A Hazard To Its Deal Fees
The disruptive venture creates a conflict that may be hard to ignore for key executives at companies like UnitedHealth Group Inc., Humana Inc. and Express Scripts Holding Co., who may ice out JPMorgan's bankers when it comes to seeking future transaction or capital markets advice. After all, why pad the profits of a firm whose actions have the ability to potentially shave billions of dollars from respective market values? (Gillian Tan, 1/30)