Tags: Healthcare Reform | Trump Administration | Trump Tax Reform | Zell | Buffett | Obamacare | Repeal

Zell Disagrees With Buffett: Obamacare Repeal Isn't Gift to Wealthy

(AP/Damian Dovarganes)

By    |   Tuesday, 09 May 2017 08:30 AM

Equity Group Investments Chairman Sam Zell disagrees with fellow billionaire Warren Buffett’s contention that the Republican approach to overhaul Obamacare is a tax cut for the rich.

Zell told CNBC the GOP approach to healthcare on taxes isn’t for the rich or the poor. He said the measure balances out the system.

The House of Representatives on Thursday narrowly approved a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, a victory for Republican President Donald Trump who has called the 2010 law a "disaster," Reuters reported.

The Republican bill would repeal most of the taxes that paid for the law formally known as the Affordable Care Act. The party's leadership has promised that the new American Health Care Act, which faces a likely overhaul and uncertain passage in the Senate, would address growing healthcare costs, Reuters reported.

The GOP measure calls for the repeal of Obamacare's 3.8 percent investment tax, such as capital gains, and a 0.9 percent Medicare payroll tax. Both of those apply to individuals earning $200,000 or more a year and couples earning more than $250,000, CNBC reported.

Zell, a former Democrat, said he's more of a Republican lately — conservative on fiscal matters but liberal on social issues, CNBC reported.

Speaking at Berkshire's annual shareholders' meeting Saturday in Omaha, Buffett said his federal income taxes last year would have gone down 17 percent had the new law been in effect, Reuters reported.

"So it is a huge tax cut for guys like me," said Buffett, who supported Hillary Clinton in the election, "And when there's a tax cut, either the deficit goes up or they get the taxes from somebody else."

Buffett said rising healthcare costs are crippling the competitiveness of U.S. companies abroad.

Unlike in many other countries where much of healthcare spending is publicly financed, employers provide health insurance coverage for nearly half of Americans and often face sky-rocketing rates.

Buffett said healthcare costs have risen much faster in the United States than in the rest of the world and "will go up a lot more."

"Medical costs are the tapeworm of American economic competitiveness," he said. "That is a problem this society is having trouble with and is going to have more trouble with."

The fourth richest man in the world with a net worth totaling $74.3 billion, according to Forbes magazine, Buffett has vowed to donate nearly his entire fortune to charity.

(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).

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Equity Group Investments Chairman Sam Zell disagrees with fellow billionaire Warren Buffett's contention that the Republican approach to overhaul Obamacare is a tax cut for the rich.
Zell, Buffett, Obamacare, Repeal, Healthcare, Tax, Wealthy
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2017-30-09
Tuesday, 09 May 2017 08:30 AM
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