Amazon Tackles Health Care With Warren Buffett, JPMorgan

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Amazon has teamed with Warren Buffett's holding company Berkshire Hathaway and financial services giant JPMorgan Chase on a new effort aimed at serving the health care needs of their US-based employees.

The companies are forming a new, not-for-profit organization that will focus on creating "technology solutions that will provide US employees and their families with simplified, high-quality, and transparent health care at a reasonable cost."

In a statement, Jeff Bezos acknowledged that the US health care system is "complex," and said the companies are "open-eyed about the degree of difficulty."

"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," Bezos added. "Success is going to require talented experts, a beginner's mind, and a long-term orientation."

It's not entirely clear how the effort will work. The companies are still in the "early planning stages" of this effort. Amazon Senior VP Beth Galetti, JPMorgan Chase Managing Director Marvelle Sullivan Berchtold, and Berkshire Hathaway Investment Officer Todd Combs will work together to oversee the initial formation of the joint entity, which has not yet been named.

"The longer-term management team, headquarters location and key operational details will be communicated in due course," they wrote in a press release.

The announcement comes after pharmacy chain CVS in December bought health insurance company Aetna for $69 billion, a merger that perhaps makes more sense in light of this Amazon news. The New York Times when reporting on the CVS/Aetna merger noted that "rapid changes in technology" have allowed "new competitors – most notably Amazon" to become players in the health care space.

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