Sep 11, 2018

Health care executives get proactive on costs

Protestors in New York last year. Photo: Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

A new, informal coalition of health care CEOs has been meeting to discuss ways to make the health care system more affordable and sustainable. And that includes coming up with some kind of answer to the venture started by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase. 

The big picture: This coalition is a sign that the industry realizes people are upset with the expensive U.S. health care system. But it's still in the brainstorming phase, according to Providence St. Joseph Health's Rod Hochman, one of the CEOs who's involved.

What they're saying: Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky organized the group of large company leaders.

  • “J&J is of course interested in having a leading voice in the evolving health care landscape, and is engaging on many fronts to improve access to quality care around the world,” spokesperson Ernie Knewitz said.
  • Hochman said the group is thinking about how to improve health coverage for their own employees — similar to the initial goal of the Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan project, which is led by Atul Gawande
  • There’s already been one meeting, and another is coming up, Hochman said.

Reality check: As we wrote in January, few companies have succeeded in bringing substantial changes to the health care system.

  • And in this case, where many participants are part of the health care industry, each has to be willing to give up some of their cut — an idea that doesn’t appear realistic if a company is publicly traded and seeks to maximize profits for shareholders.

Go deeper

Trump's big, empty beef with Twitter

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump finally acted on his now year-old threat to take action against social media platforms for alleged bias against conservatives. But so far, according to experts in both government and the industry, the threat looks mostly empty.

Driving the news: Trump escalated his war on Twitter Friday morning, tweeting repeatedly that the company needs to be regulated after it overnight added a warning label to a tweet of his calling for the military to start shooting looters, which violated Twitter’s rules against glorifying violence.

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

The Third Police Precinct burns in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Demonstrators demanding justice burned a Minneapolis police station and took control of the streets around it last night, heaving wood onto the flames, kicking down poles with surveillance cameras and torching surrounding stores.

What's happening: The crowd was protesting the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose life was snuffed out Tuesday by a white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for about eight minutes.

Minneapolis mayor to Trump: “Weakness is pointing your finger” during a crisis

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey fired back at President Trump on Friday, after the president accused the mayor of weak leadership amid violence sparked by the killing of an unarmed black man by a white police officer.

Driving the news: Trump made his accusations in a pair of tweets early Friday, saying he would bring the national guard into Minneapolis if Frey couldn't “bring the City under control.”