Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett on Friday called healthcare “the tapeworm of the American economy.”
Buffett, co-hosting Bloomberg TV’s “In the Loop” program, called President Obama's healthcare law a "step in the right direction," but said the high cost of insuring employees remains a drag on business.
“I think the healthcare problem is the No. 1 problem of America and of American business,” Buffett said. “We have not dealt with that yet.”
The billionaire investor, whose name graces Obama's proposed "Buffett Rule" to raise taxes on millionaires, said he thinks the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the healthcare law as constitutional was “the right decision.”
“'ObamaCare' is a step in the right direction in many ways,” he said. “In terms of cost, it is going to require a huge change. We have seen that number go up to 17 percent. That is a huge cost factor. I think Berkshire Hathaway’s costs are over $2 billion a year for healthcare.”
Buffett added that “Obama is clearly the superior” candidate in the upcoming election, but predicted that healthcare would have sway over the election.
“Some people will be for or against because of the healthcare act,” he said, noting the American public would judge for themselves.
But the Omaha businessman also said Americans are “quite disgusted with Congress,” particularly over the debt ceiling standoff.
“The idea of having a debt ceiling — as this country grows, our debt capacity grows,” he said. “To go through this charade, we are going to increase the debt ceiling, so why Congress does not do it in five minutes instead of spending weeks and weeks posturing and complaining and holding other things hostage — I think it is disgusting. I think they ought to do it this afternoon."