Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

3 Companies' Health Care Initiative Could Make an Impact

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

3 Companies' Health Care Initiative Could Make an Impact

Article excerpt

The initiative by Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan to enter the health care market is interesting and could be paradigm-changing (Jan. 31, "Amazon, JPMorgan, Buffett Will Create Firm to Provide Health Care for Their Employees"). Although there were many initiatives by industry to influence the health care system, none of them were able to achieve their goals. The Institute of Medicine, a few years ago, indicated that health care costs in the U.S. are higher compared with other Western nations, and part of the reason is wasteful expenditures (20 to 25 percent of total costs, or about $700 billion).

With annual health care costs of more than $3 trillion, there are many interest groups, and they lobby to preserve their piece of the pie. Also, it is difficult to define "waste" because one person's waste is another person's income, and demand by the public for various treatments, sometimes of doubtful benefit, complicates the issue. …

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