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Tags: Healthcare Reform | Trump Administration | charlie | munger | waste | over treatment | dying

Munger: 'Waste From Overtreatment of the Dying Is Just Disgusting'


By    |   Monday, 08 May 2017 12:27 PM

Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger says the U.S. healthcare system is "ridiculous" in its complexity.

"The amount of waste from overtreatment of the dying is just disgusting," the 93-year-old Munger told CNBC, speaking alongside billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

"There's a lot wrong with the system," Munger said.

Munger said the current health system gives U.S. companies a big disadvantage in competing with other manufacturers.

"They've got single payer medicine and we're paying it out of the company," he said.

Instead, Munger, a Republican, said he would prefer Medicare for all.

"I would police it pretty hard to keep out the fraud," he said. "There's a lot of fraud and abuse in the workman's comp system. And the only way to keep it out is to be very tough on it all the time. And, of course, the government isn't very good at that," Munger said.

Munger has said that he thinks neither political party "can think rationally" about healthcare because they "hate each other so much."

For his part, Berkshire Chairman Warren Buffett on Saturday fumed that healthcare costs are eating away at the U.S. economy like "tapeworm" and said the Republican approach to overhaul Obamacare is a tax cut for the rich.

The U.S. 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."

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," he said. "And when there's a tax cut, either the deficit goes up or they get the taxes from somebody else."

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.

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."

Buffett is a Democrat who vocally supported Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful bid for the presidency against Trump. 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 wires services contributed to this report).

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Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger told CNBC on Monday the U.S. healthcare system is "ridiculous" in its complexity."
charlie, munger, waste, over treatment, dying, health, care
Monday, 08 May 2017 12:27 PM
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