Warren Buffett On Haven’s Dissolution: ‘The Tapeworm Won.’

It’s been just a few months since Haven, the much-hyped joint venture between Amazon, JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway, announced it was disbanding. During its short existence, Haven failed to deliver any significant progress on its goal of reforming employer-sponsored health insurance, but the experiment should not be considered a complete failure.

“We found inefficiencies, and … we probably saved more than the other two partners because they knew their situation better,” Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett told attendees at the company’s recent shareholder meeting. “We found dumb things we were doing. So we got our money’s worth.”

It’s a lesson that employers of all sizes can take to heart: there’s always room for improvement if you’re willing to put in the work and take a risk on new innovations and ideas.

A true health care overhaul, though, will take a much more coordinated effort, but it’s not insurmountable. The increasing cost of health care has many employers nearing their breaking point and calling for change–and with a health care venture backed by three of the country’s most prominent companies no longer an option, they’ll have to take up the mantle themselves.

“We learned a lot about the difficulty of changing around an industry that’s 17% of GDP,” Buffet said. “We were fighting a tapeworm in the American economy, and the tapeworm won.”


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