The resident scholar for a free-market policy think tank that focuses on issues related to economic growth, innovation, limited government, and individual liberty is concerned by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan's recent decision to dissolve a healthcare venture – one that people expected to shake up the whole system just a few years ago.
According to the announcement this week from Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan, Haven Health's operations will end by the end of February. A spokeswoman gave Associated Press no reason for the venture's end.
According to Merrill Matthews, Ph.D. of Texas-based Institute for Policy Innovation, Amazon failed at healthcare because it was not a disrupter.
"Amazon is a disrupter," he tells One News Now. "It comes into markets, and it changes the whole paradigm in ways that people don't really understand, and it's worked very well for consumers."
But regarding Haven Health, which was formed in 2018, Matthews says the powers that be acted like a large employer and tried to find more ways to negotiate deeper discounts with providers and tried to find some kind of way to get cheaper prescription drugs, among other things.
"They didn't fundamentally change the dynamics of the healthcare system," Matthews continues, adding that "the biggest concern on this" involves companies potentially saying, "If Amazon can't do it, we can't make any major changes, either."
That, he says, pressures Washington to come up with some kind of solution, which in this environment may result in some kind of government healthcare system or an expansion of ObamaCare, "which essentially doubled down on the current healthcare system," says Matthews.
So his biggest concern is Amazon's failure to bring new dynamics, as it puts more emphasis on the notion that the government has to solve it because the private sector cannot. That will put more pressure on the notion of price controls and government control over the healthcare system.