Buffett: America Desperately Needs To Change Healthcare If It Wants To Be Economically Competitive

Warren Buffett explains how America has to change its health care system and fast. He doesn’t agree with everything the Obama administration is doing. For one thing, he believes it hasn’t been focused enough on attacking costs. Yet the current system is a disaster according to Mr. Buffett.

But he points out how under the current system, America has less doctors per thousand people, less nurses per thousand people, and less hospital beds per thousand people. Yet the U.S. pays far more on healthcare, as a per cent of GDP, than all other countries. This makes the nation horribly uncompetitive.

0:50 — “If I were President Obama, I would just show this chart of what is happening, and say this is the tape worm that is eating at American competitiveness and one way or another we’re going to attack costs, costs, costs.”

5:00 — “If the only choice I had in the world was the present system or the present bill, I would take the bill, but I think that it would be far better to see that costs is it and we’re gonna go back, and we’re not going to come back until we can show how to bring down the 16 and a quarter [~17% of GDP] down.” [Paraphrased:] ‘You’re not going to sell automobiles or aeroplanes when you have these costs. You’re not going to be competitive worldwide.’

9:15 — “Insurance isn’t the problem, the problem is at the point of care” … “That isn’t the reason that GDP is at 17% of GDP.” … “The reason is that we’re doing an awful lot of things we don’t need to do… we have payment for procedures and not payments for results”

It’s an interesting discussion which basically shows how both polarised sides of the current healthcare debate are wrong.

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