Thursday, February 1, 2018

"Can Amazon fix American healthcare?" (AMZN; BRK)

When the news broke earlier this week the FT's Dan McCrum had the most measured response we saw:

Warren, Jamie and Jeff walk into a doctors’ surgery…
Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan are cooking up a non-profit healthcare company.
The three companies, which bring their scale and complementary expertise to this long-term effort, will pursue this objective through an independent company that is free from profit-making incentives and constraints. The initial focus of the new company will be on technology solutions that will provide U.S. employees and their families with simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost.
Anything involving Warren Buffett will be sprinkled with the fairy dust of America’s favourite profit maximising capitalist, and US healthcare costs are startling. Here’s the choice quote: “The ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” says Mr Buffett.
The profit motive is hard at work, however. Amazon has 540,000 staff, Berkshire 370,000, JP Morgan 240,000.

Every $900 in annual healthcare premium saved is $1bn of shared cost savings to spend on drones/buying weakened health insurers/ share buybacks....MORE
With the classic headline* and bonus points for variegated corporate refs, a hands down hot take winner.

With a couple days to put their take together here's the headline story from CapX:
Can Amazon fix American healthcare?

And here is Mr. McCrum's latest at FT Alphaville:
"Perma bear, polar or grizzly?" 
*We too have used the formulation over the years:
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