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Little is known about the Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan health care project. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Optum is suing an executive who left the company to work for the new health care venture created by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase. The lawsuit, first reported by STAT, alleges that his new employment "poses a direct threat to Optum’s trade secrets and other confidential information."

Why it matters: It's been a year since the three conglomerates promised to "disrupt" the health care industry with their venture. And the only thing we really know about it now is that Optum — the profitable and growing division of UnitedHealth Group that provides health care, data services and pharmacy benefits — views it as a competitor.

Details: Optum really doesn't want its former employee to work for this "ABC" venture, as it's been called.

  • The ABC company, which is supposed to be a nonprofit and is led by Atul Gawande, is currently registered as "TCORP62018 LLC."
  • The former Optum employee, David Smith, made $200,000 a year plus stock as a vice president of product strategy. The company accused him of printing materials with Optum's trade secrets and attending confidential meetings right before he resigned.
  • The top lawyers for UnitedHealth and ABC corresponded with each other over Smith's new employment. UnitedHealth wrote in a letter that Smith's "inappropriate conduct" could violate state and federal trade secrets laws.
  • ABC has not explicitly said what it will do. However, according to the lawsuit, Smith said his "initial tasks will be in-depth research focused on the delivery and costs of health care for the over 1 million individuals covered by the health plans of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase" — indicating the venture will not be nearly as big or disruptive as some have made it out to be.

Go deeper: Read the lawsuit.

Go deeper

Updated 32 mins ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.