Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced on Tuesday their intent to form a new healthcare company. Although few specifics are available, the statement from the companies indicated the new venture would be "free from profit-making incentives and constraints." Berkshire Hathaway head, Warren Buffet, noted that the new company intended to "check the rise in health costs while concurrently enhancing patient satisfaction and outcomes."
At this point, the healthcare initiative by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase is intended to affect only their employees, but many assume it could be a model for broader changes in the way healthcare is delivered and paid for in the U.S.
Previous Gallup research suggests:
Americans are largely positive about the quality of the healthcare they receive: Three-quarters of employed Americans (75%) said the healthcare they received was "excellent" or "good" in Gallup's last survey on the issue, in November 2017. There is little difference between U.S. workers and the overall public, among whom 77% rate their personal healthcare as "excellent" or "good."
Satisfaction on the cost of personal healthcare is mixed: Just over half of employed Americans (54%) say they are satisfied with the total cost for healthcare they pay, modestly lower than the 61% of overall Americans who say they are satisfied with their care costs.
Ratings of healthcare on a national level are substantially worse than personal: Gallup also asks Americans to rate aspects of overall healthcare in the U.S. More than half of U.S. workers (54%) and the same percentage of overall Americans rate the quality of the U.S. healthcare system as "excellent" or "good." On national healthcare costs, one in six (16%) American workers and one in five (20%) Americans in general say they are satisfied.
Most Americans say the U.S. healthcare system is troubled: Nearly three-quarters of employed Americans (73%) say the healthcare system is "in a state of crisis" or "has major problems" in Gallup's most recent survey. There is little difference between American workers' attitudes on the healthcare system and the overall U.S. public, among which 71% say the system is "in a state of crisis" or "has major problems."
The Amazon/Berkshire/JPMorgan Chase effort comes at a time when most Americans agree that the healthcare system has major problems or is in a crisis. Although most workers are satisfied with the quality of the healthcare they receive, fewer are satisfied with their costs, making the latter the most seemingly attractive target for this new healthcare initiative.