Buffett on failed Haven venture: The 'tapeworm won'

Morgan Haefner - Print  | 

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, told shareholders his company's failed healthcare venture with JPMorgan Chase and Amazon could not overcome the high cost of care in the U.S., according to Yahoo Finance.

"We learned a lot about the difficulty of changing around an industry that's 17 percent of GDP," Mr. Buffett said during the May 1 annual shareholders meeting in a discussion with business partner Charlie Munger. "We were fighting a tapeworm in the American economy, and the tapeworm won."

The idea of the American healthcare system being a "tapeworm" in the U.S. economy is an analogy Mr. Buffett has used before. When the Haven venture launched in 2018, Mr. Buffett said its ultimate goal was to reduce the "tapeworm of costs" plaguing the industry.

Although Haven dissolved in February, Mr. Buffett said he didn't see the venture as a total loss. Focusing on healthcare costs helped his company identify inefficiencies and save money internally, he said during the meeting, according to Yahoo Finance.

During the meeting, it was also revealed that Greg Abel, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, will eventually succeed Mr. Buffett, according to CNBC.

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