Drugs and health insurance in the USA are almost priceless for average earners. Because of exorbitant prices for painkillers, US-Americans are massing their way to heroin, because the painkillers contain extremely strong opiates – but they are not affordable. The US healthcare industry is earning a golden nose at the expense of people. That’s a fact, and Donald Trump is probably the last person to change this.
So three CEO´s of large US Companies are currently handling the matter themselves. Warren Buffett (Berikshire Hathaway), Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and Jamie Dimon (JP Morgan) want to set up a joint health insurance company for their employees. Important: This health insurance company should not work profit-oriented. This is particularly interesting for the large army of Amazon employees (warehouse workers) who earn relatively little or very little.
The current publication of the three companies explicitly states that they want to significantly reduce the costs of health care for their own employees. The high health costs are like a hungry tapeworm, according to Warren Buffett. Top managers from this three companies will be brought into the new project in order to set up a new transparent health insurance company, which will apparently also be accessible to the families of the employees. So this is about millions of Americans.
This should also be a good thing for the employees of Berkshire Hathaway. It´s not yet clear if the employees of minority shareholdings such as McDonalds or Coca Cola will be able to join this new insurance company. But a lot of Buffett´s employees will benefit, like “simple” workers in railway companies. It will probably be a blessing especially for low-income earners! And the losers? The stock prices of the entire US healthcare industry are going down since today market opening.
Because where millions of employees in this companies are expected to save money on their healthcare costs in the future, someone will make less money. These are, in all probability, pharmaceutical companies, intermediaries between insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, and mainly health insurers, which are strongly geared towards profit.
The “UnitedHealth” health insurance company used by JP Morgan is currently losing 4.9% in its share price compared to yesterday evening. The Pharmacy Benefits Manager “ExpressScripts” currently loses 7.9%. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is currently losing 3.5%. CVS Health loses 5.3%. It´s an earthquake schock for this industry. It earned a golden nose so far. It could become more worse if other US companies copy the idea of these three CEO´s, because their employees could also come up with the idea of demanding a non-profit health insurance fund from their CEO´s.
Warren Buffett. Foto: Mark Hirschey / Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)