Amazon, Berkshire & JPMorgan Chase Launch New Healthcare Company, But Can We Trust Them?

“Non-health care companies wading into the health care business”, — what’s the worse that can happen? A lot.

Thank goodness I’m not the only one scratching my head over this one.

Corporate health care company co-founder Jamie Dimon (JP Morgan Chase) went on the record to explain the venture.

“The three of our companies have extraordinary resources, and our goal is to create solutions that benefit our U.S. employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans.”

Jamie Dimon

I am going to say what no one else is willing to say, there isn’t one woman in this collaboration.

And, we are expected to believe these three U.S. business leaders – Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Berkshire’s Warren Buffett and JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon – want to take on the world’s most expensive healthcare system, whose mounting costs have hurt corporate profit, to HELP Americans.

Really?

Healthcare industry experts say the new entity could eventually negotiate directly with drug dealers (I mean drug makers), doctors and hospitals and use their vast databases to get a better handle on service costs.

Is anyone else experiencing a tingle at the neck?

I am going to say what no one else is willing to say, these three business leaders are the worst choices to manage our countries healthcare services.

If past behavior predicts future behavior, here are some things you should remember:

JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon:

  1. Madoff Fraud: On January 7, 2014, JPMorgan agreed to pay a total of $2.05 billion in fines and penalties to settle civil and criminal charges related to its role in the Madoff scandal. Forbes: Is JP Morgan Chase America’s Most Corrupt Bank?
  2. Alleged discrimination lawsuit: In January 2017, the United States sued the company, accusing it of discriminating against “thousands” of black and Hispanic mortgage borrowers between 2006 and at least 2009.
  3. In December 2002, Chase paid fines totaling $80 million, with the amount split between the states and the federal government. The fines were part of a settlement involving charges that ten banks, including Chase, deceived investors with biased research.
  4. Enron Scandal: Chase paid out over $2 billion in fines and legal settlements for their role in financing Enron Corporation with aiding and abetting Enron Corp.’s securities fraud.
  5. In November 2009, JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to a $722 million settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to end a probe into sales of derivatives that helped push Alabama’s most populous county to the brink of bankruptcy. The settlement came a week after Birmingham, Alabama Mayor Larry Langford was convicted on 60 counts of bribery, money laundering, and tax evasion related to bond swaps for Jefferson County, Alabama.
  6. In 2008 and 2009, 14 lawsuits were filed against JPMorgan Chase in various district courts on behalf of Chase credit card holders claiming the bank violated the Truth in Lending Act.  Our Future.Org: JPMorgan Chase Is Worse Than Enron.
  7. “Sons & Daughters” hiring program: In November 2016, JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay $264 million in fines to settle civil and criminal charges involving a systematic bribery scheme spanning 2006 to 2013 in which the bank secured business deals in Hong Kong by agreeing to hire hundreds of friends and relatives of Chinese government officials.
  8. Speculative Trading: In 2012, JPMorgan Chase & Co was charged for misrepresenting and failing to disclose that the CIO had engaged in extremely risky and speculative trades that exposed JPMorgan to significant losses.
  9. NY Times: Coruption Investigation in Asia: On March 26, 2014, the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption seized computer records and documents after searching the office of Fang, the company’s outgoing chief executive officer for China investment banking.
  10. September 2014 Cyber Attack A cyber-attack, disclosed in September 2014, compromised the JPMorgan Chase accounts of over 83 million customers. The attack was discovered by the bank’s security team in late July 2014, but not completely halted until the middle of August
  11. Staff suicide: On January 28, 2014, Gabriel Magee, a senior IT programmer, died when he jumped down from the roof of the 25 Bank Street, which is the home to the European headquarters.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos:

  1. Amazon UK came under criticism for attempting to prevent publishers from direct selling at discount from their own websites.
  2. Employees of Amazon have regularly commented on the abusive treatment of all blue collar and white collar workers across many media.
  3. On 2 August 2013 the Daily Mail ran an expose outing Amazon UK for employee GPS ‘tagging’ and subjecting them to harsh working conditions, describing employees as ‘human robots’,
  4. On November 10, 2010, a controversy arose over the sale by Amazon of an e-book by Phillip R. Greaves entitled The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover’s Code of Conduct.
  5. The Chinese government is planning to increase regulation of Amazon (along with Apple Inc. and Taobao.com) in relation to internet piracy issues.
  6. An October 2013 report in the British online magazine The Kernel had revealed that Amazon.com was selling books that defend Holocaust denial, and shipped them even to customers in countries where Holocaust denial is prohibited by the law.
  7. Following the announcement of the Apple iPad on January 27, 2010, Macmillan Publishers entered into a pricing dispute with Amazon.com regarding electronic publications. Macmillan asked Amazon to accept a new pricing scheme it had worked out with Apple, raising the price of e-books from $9.99 to $15. Amazon responded by pulling all Macmillan books, both electronic and physical, from their website.
  8. In September 2011 Allentown, Pennsylvania’s Morning Call interviewed 20 past and present employees at Amazon’s Breinigsville warehouse, all but one of whom criticized the company’s warehouse conditions and employment practice.
  9. On December 1, 2010, Amazon stopped hosting the website associated with the whistle-blowing organization WikiLeaks. Amazon did not initially comment on whether it forced the site to leave. Publishers felt that this ultimatum amounted to monopoly abuse, and questioned the ethics of the move and its legality under anti-trust law
  10. Amazon tried to avoid paying corporate tax (法人税 hōjinzei), but in July 2009, the Tokyo National Tax Agency (東京国税局 Tōkyō Kokuzeikyoku) ruled that Amazon still had to pay 14 billion yen ($119 million) in back taxes.
  11. In September 2000, price discrimination potentially violating the Robinson–Patman Act was found on amazon.com. Amazon offered to sell a buyer a DVD for one price, but after the buyer deleted cookies that identified him as a regular Amazon customer, he was offered the same DVD for a substantially lower price.
  12. July 2009, The New York Times reported that amazon.com deleted all customer copies of certain books published in violation of US copyright laws.

Berkshire’s Warren Buffett:

  1. Buffett’s first brush with controversy occurred as part of the acquisition of Wesco in 1974. Ultimately, the SEC investigated the deal (and Buffett’s investment practices in general) and extracted a $115,000 payout to Wesco shareholders.
  2. Buffett also found himself the target of antitrust charges when he acquired the Buffalo Evening News in 1977.
  3. More serious were the charges in 2006 against Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary General Re that it had cooperated with AIG in engaging in so-called finite reinsurance. Turns out Finite reinsurance was not really insurance per se, but more of an accounting gimmick that allowed a company like AIG to buff the appearance of its financial reports for a period of time.
  4. In the area of corporate governance the board of directors of Berkshire Hathaway, are mostly long-standing friends of Warren Buffett.
  5. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. amassed a 700-million-share stake in Bank of America, making Buffett the largest shareholder in two of the nation’s largest banks — and showing that a years-ago bet on a struggling financial firm is paying off to the tune of $12 billion. Just luck??

Do we really want these men in charge of women’s health care, our children’s care, or our parents care?

Do we want these men to design the nation’s healthcare system?

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