That’s according to Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, who Reuters reported made those comments during an interview with CNBC. Buffett said in order to help reduce healthcare costs, the new company “can’t afford to make a mistake” when it comes to choosing a new CEO.
He believes it won’t be hard to reduce 3 or 4 percentage points off the cost of healthcare: “We are at a huge competitive disadvantage in American business” relative to other industrialized countries because of the costs, Buffett said. “The question is whether we can come up with something better. I‘m hopeful, but don’t expect any miracles.”
In late January, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced they were teaming up to create an independent healthcare company whose aim would be to fix the nation’s healthcare system. In a press release, the three said they were working on ways to address healthcare for their U.S. employees, focusing on reducing costs and improving customer satisfaction.
To achieve that, the collaborative will create a constraint-free independent company that isn’t focused on profit-making incentives. Its initial focus, according to the press release, will be on using technology to provide U.S. employees and their families with easier, high-quality, transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost.
“The ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” said Buffett in a press release at the time. “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.”
The companies believe adequate and affordable healthcare is one of the greatest issues facing society today. By bringing three of the world’s biggest companies together, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase hope to take a new approach to what they view as a critical matter.