Amazon, Buffett, JPMorgan Tap Clinton Appointee to Lead Health Firm
Well-known author and Harvard professor Dr. Atul Gawande has been tapped to lead the healthcare venture formed by Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, and Berkshire Hathaway. The 52-year-old will lead an independent company focused on a mission they announced earlier this year: figure out ways to improve a broken and often inefficient system for delivering care. Employer-sponsored insurance covers about 157 million people, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. That’s nearly half the total U.S. population and the biggest slice of the country’s patchwork health insurance market. Gawande is a surgeon and professor at both Harvard’s Medical School and its T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Born in Brooklyn to parents who immigrated from India, Gawande earned an undergraduate degree in biology and political science from Stanford University in 1987. As a Rhodes Scholar, he received his MA from Oxford in 1989, completed Harvard Medical School in 1995, and earned an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1999. He worked on Al Gore's 1988 presidential campaign. He worked as a health-care researcher for Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN) and, in 1992, became then-candidate Bill Clinton's healthcare lieutenant during the first presidential campaign. He later became a Senior Advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services after Clinton's inauguration. He also directed one of the three committees of the Clinton Health Care Task Force and defined the benefits packages for Americans and subsidies and requirements for employers. He said in a statement Wednesday that he has devoted his career in public health to building solutions for better care delivery, and that while the current system is broken, “better is possible.” More here.