New players from outside the ”Swamp” could save America yet from the insanity of our bloated healthcare spending.
By Hunt Lawrence and Daniel J. Flynn
The cure for the inefficiency that ails healthcare comes from neither government nor the insurance industry, two bureaucratized institutions that, when married in one sector, combine for a perfect storm of sclerosis, which, of course, conjures up less a storm than a swamp. The institutions primed to drain that swamp call Silicon Valley home — at least many of them do. There, where the streamlined efficiency that characterized Henry Ford’s assembly line manifests itself in 21st century ways, tech giants reimagine themselves as medical behemoths. Amazon, specifically, pursues a project called “1492.” The name itself suggests a revolutionary, this-changes-everything purpose. We know it focuses on healthcare and technology. Beyond this, we don’t know much. Perhaps CVS Health knows more than we do. It bought Aetna in December for $77 billion. This combines the convenience of roughly 10,000 locations with the might of America’s third-largest insurer. CVS, which seeks to more aggressively assert itself in healthcare beyond its pharmacies, expects competition from Amazon. But both seek to become major players in healthcare.