Billionaire Warren Buffett says Congress should scrap the healthcare bill Democrats are pushing to pass and start over.
Although Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, applauded President Barack Obama in a CNBC interview for taking up the reform effort, he said that, “unfortunately, we came up with a bill that really doesn't attack the cost situation that much.”
Asked whether he would be in favor of scrapping the Senate healthcare bill, Buffett responded: “I would be.”
If the president were to start over, Buffett would advise him to “just show this chart of what's been happening and say this is the tapeworm that's eating at American competitiveness, Politico reported. "And I would say that one way or another, we're going to attack costs, costs, costs, just like they talk about jobs, jobs, jobs.”
Buffett urged Obama to say that “we're going to cut off all the kinds of things like the 800,000 special people in Florida or the Cornhusker kickback, as they called it, or the Louisiana Purchase, and we're going to — we're going to get rid of the nonsense," Politico wrote. "We're just going to focus on costs and we're not going to dream up 2,000 pages of other things. And I would say, as president, `I'm going to come back to you with something that's going to do something about this, because we have to do it.’”
Much of the rest of the world is paying about 9 percent of their GDP on healthcare and have more doctors and nurses per person, Buffett said.
He said he hopes Congress will develop a new healthcare reform proposal that will restrict costs more than any of the current plans would.
Buffett appeared on CNBC Monday morning, two days after releasing his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.
Buffett saud the reports he receives from Berkshire's 80 subsidiaries don't show much improvement. And most of Berkshire's businesses are still performing worse than they were two years ago before the height of the crisis.
Berkshire owns clothing, furniture, jewelry, and corporate jet firms, but its insurance and utility businesses accounted for one-third of the company's profit last year. Its net income jumped 61 percent in 2009 to $8.1 billion largely because the value of its investments and derivatives rose sharply.
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