Aetna CEO responds to Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan health care venture

Reporter
Yahoo Finance

Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna (AET), the third-largest U.S. insurer, responded to the news of Amazon (AMZN), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) are teaming up on a new health care venture.

“There is an unmet consumer need in health care. Individuals and families want a simple, affordable and high-quality experience that helps them stay well,” Bertolini said in an emailed statement to Yahoo Finance. Bertolini says Aetna’s merger with CVS Health will achieve a similar mission. “Our combination with CVS Health will help address those needs at the local level, and I am encouraged to see other companies working toward the same goal,” he said.

Yahoo Finance’s Julia La Roche interviews Aetna chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
Yahoo Finance’s Julia La Roche interviews Aetna chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Shares of insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies have been trading lower following the announcement from the trio of industry titans.

Meeting the needs of consumers

Back in December, CVS Health (CVS) said that it was buying Aetna in a $69 billion deal that could reshape American health care.

“Today, increasing numbers of consumers are taking on more and more responsibility for paying for their health care as the burden of costs is being shifted to them,” the companies said in a statement. “Together, CVS Health and Aetna will be a trusted community partner who will help consumers better manage the cost of the health care they need.”

Prior to the deal announcement, Bertolini and CVS’s CEO Larry Merlo have both separately spoken publicly about problems in U.S. health care, and they both advanced solutions they’ve had in mind.

Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett has also spoken out about the rising health care costs impeding the U.S. economy.

“The ballooning costs of health care act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” Buffett said in Tuesday’s announcement. “Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable. Rather, we share the belief that putting our collective resources behind the country’s best talent can, in time, check the rise in health costs while concurrently enhancing patient satisfaction and outcomes.”


Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo FinanceFollow her on Twitter.

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