Amazon is creating a not-for-profit company meant to tackle its employees' healthcare, the company announced Tuesday, adding that it has partnered with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co. in its effort to do so. The trio will use the joint venture to improve the healthcare of their employees in terms of coverage and costs, adding that the collaboration is of the "long-term" variety and represents a project to which they're all fully committed going forward. Details of the endeavor remain vague, though the partners confirmed their initial goal is to pursue new technologies that can improve the overall state of healthcare for both their employees and their families. The fact that the venture has been specifically described as a nonprofit makes it unlikely that its solutions will be offered to individuals who aren't directly associated with the three companies in the near future.
The initiative is primarily aimed at addressing what Amazon and the two conglomerates deem are "the ballooning costs" associated with healthcare in the United States, vividly describing the matter as "a hungry tapeworm" leeching off of the country's economy. The wording used by the coalition to describe the joint venture implies its long-term plan is still largely undefined, with the move being more of a statement of intent than a highly specified course of action that should lead to lower healthcare costs and better coverage. Berkshire Hathaway CEO and Chairman Warren Buffett implied as much, as did Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. JPMorgan Chase CEO and Chairman Jamie Dimon highlighted "transparency" and "control" as some of the key features of the trio's vision for the future of healthcare. The location of the joint venture and its long-term management lineup are yet to be decided on and are expected to be announced in the second half of the year.
The decision to move into the healthcare segment is yet another indicator of Amazon's immense growth that the company has been experiencing over the course of the last two decades, expanding from selling e-books to having the most valuable e-commerce platform on the planet, funding blockbuster movies, running entirely automated brick-and-mortar stores, developing unmanned aircraft, buying major companies, and having a gaming streaming platform. The Seattle, Washington-based tech giant has also recently been investing in its digital advertising business that's expected to lead it to more significant profits in the near future while still allowing it to pursue aggressive expansion.