• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Buffett to Obama: Scrap Current Bill and Start Over

    Last week’s bipartisan summit on health care reform seems to have done little, if anything, to build support for the President’s vision of health care reform.  Strong opposition to the Democrats’ proposals remains the position of a majority of Americans.  And now, even the President’s biggest fans are following suit.

    In an interview‘ with CNBC, Warren Buffett, a Democrat and supporter of President Obama, advised the President to follow the wishes of the American people to scrap the current health care legislation and start over.  Buffett highlighted the failure of Democrats’ proposals to address cost as his biggest concern:

    We have a health system that, in terms of costs, is really out of control…And if you take this line and you project what has been happening into the future, we will get less and less competitive. So we need something else.

    But concerning the current proposals before Congress, Buffett lamented that, “unfortunately, we came up with a bill that really doesn’t attack the cost situation that much.” Buffet’s concerns have been certified by the President’s own Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services who have reported that the Senate health care bill would raise national health expenditures by $234 billion by 2019.

    Buffett advised that the President scrap all the backroom deals and unpopular provisions of the current bills, and focus primarily on cost.  Buffett explained that lowering costs should even take precedence over expanding access to care, since he does not believe “in insuring more people till you attack the cost aspect of this.” Since cost is one of the current roadblocks to expanding accessibility of coverage, the President would be wise to heed Buffett’s advice.

    Buffett also addressed one of the most crucial reasons behind the need for the President and congressional Democrats to start over on health care reform, and that is the profound absence of support among the American people.  Said Buffett:

    If it was a choice today between plan A, which is what we’ve got, or plan B, what is in front of — the Senate bill, I would vote for the Senate bill. But I would much rather see a plan C that really attacks costs. And I think that’s what the American public wants to see. I mean, the American public is not behind this bill. And we need the American public behind the bill, because it’s going to have to do some tough things.

    Democrats’ health care proposals would overhaul one sixth of the nation’s economy through an unpopular federal takeover of the health care system.

    As Warren Buffett’s interview with CNBC showcases, even the Left’s biggest fans are coming to realize this is a bad idea.  As talk of passing a bill through reconciliation intensifies, Democrats should instead take into consideration the other options before them, which include several incremental changes that would garner bipartisan support in Congress and among the American people.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to Buffett to Obama: Scrap Current Bill and Start Over

    1. Bess, Tennessee says:

      Link does not work:

      the Senate health care bill would raise national health expenditures by $234 billion by 2019.

    2. John B. San Diego says:

      How does the U.S. Gov cover "according to Democrats' own numbers by an increase of 30 Million People" with out paying out big time expenditures by "Our Treasury"?

      Physically and Fiscally IMPOSSIBLE!

      The Dems are lost within their own math! Or should I say lack of math?

      By the President's own statement we must cover all persons or this will not work.

      # ! )We don't have the Medical infrastructure or trained medical staffs or nurse practitioners to fulfill the mission set forth by Democratic Majority in Congress and the President still backs the bill. What?

      # 2) America as a nation can not afford this bill fiscally speaking,

      No matter how far back in history Majority Leader of the House Hoyer recalls

      # 3) A number of persons or groups of persons will be civil disobedient

      with regard to individual mandates, I predict this will go to the Supreme Court.

      # 4) States Legislatures and Governors will contest on grounds the 10th Amendment has been violated

      Where is the logic and sanity?


    3. Susanna, Kansas says:

      I love my health care (My Doctors) and my insurance which I have as an individual, not through an employer. It actually came in less expensive that way. I am currently not employed – which is really the bigger issue these days – not healthcare reform. The progressives keep talking about some 31 million uninsured – I am wondering why they seem to not hear the 300 million insured who have been quite anti-Obamacare and very vocal. Thank you, Warren Buffet. However, I now fear what will come next. If the government was good at their OTHER government-run programs, I suspect we would not be so angry at this administration or at Washington. However, until the government can PROVE they have fully funded Medicare and Social Security (which we pay from our paychecks – so should they!), I don't want them touching MY healthcare!! Also, until EVERYONE – (yes, strip that nice healthcare package from members of Congress) – is to be included in any program that may be dreamed up – I'm talking everyone in the government, including the folks ramming this through and all unions – It's still all horse hockey to me!

    4. KenMas says:

      Why oh why did Mr. 'B' support an inexperienced and non proven person for the job of President in the first place. An honest and objective analysis of Obama's resume would not qualify him to manage one of Mr. 'B' dairy queen restaurants. Obama never even ran a register at a 7-11 store.

    5. david ,arizona says:

      Both house & senate are not even real bills , the whole thing is just a start of a power grab of our lifes, has little to do with health care. any health care reform should demand all politicians go on public option. well paying goverment jobs, generous pension plans ,free health insurance, is not a right instead its a privilege. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. NO OBAMA CARE!!

    6. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      NOT A CHANCE, WARREN! You supported this socialist and turned him loose

      on the people of this country. Now, we all have to live with your stupidity and

      partisan support. THANKS A LOT!

    7. Drew Page, IL says:

      Ironic, isn't it? President Obama says that "We have a health system, that in terms of costs, is out of control…and if you take this line and project what has been happening into the future, we will get less and less competitive. So we need something else." If one were to substitute the word "Congressional" for the word "health" in his above quote, it would express the feelings of a vast majority of Americans.

      In all of the diatribes demonizing the insurance companies, never once have I heard of the government taking any responsibility for the increases in health care costs. Federal mandates for Mental Health Parity, COBRA extension of health coverage and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). These mandates added hunfreds of millions of expense to the cost of health care as did other federal mandates such as ERISA, TEFRA, DEFRA, ADEA, ADA and the Mothers & Newborn Protection Act. And this is saying nothing about the mandates issued individually by each state on the fully insured plans issued within their borders. All of these mandates increased coverage and expanded eligibility under employer sponsored health plans–and all of these mandates resulted in more claims being paid out, therefore requiring higher and higher premium rates to support them.

      When doctors and hospitals must accept government Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements from the government which are 30% to 40% less than what they charge, these same doctors and hospitals increase their charges to patients who do not have Medicare or Medicaid. The same thing happens when people with no insurance show up in emergency rooms and don't pay the bills. So where is the public outrage with the government, that keeps mandating more and more coverage and wider eligibility? Where is the public outrage when doctors and hospitals increase their charges to cover what the government and people without insurance don't pay?

      When a new cancer drug comes on the market that costs thousands of dollars per dose, should that be covered by insurance. When new technology becomes available to diagnose diseases should that expensive new technology be covered by insurance? If you say yes, then you can't blame the insurance companies for passing along the cost in their premium rates.

      Blame the insurance companies if you want to, but you're just kidding yourself. Included in the premiums they charge are the cost of claims, administrative expenses yes, making a profit. In a recent published study, it was found that health insurance companies in 2008 earned profits of 2.2% of the premiums they charged.

      Since 1970, companies like the Travellers, Prudential, Metropolitan, Hartford, Hancock, Equitable, CNA, Washington National, Lincoln National, New York Life, New England Life, TransAmerica, General American, Phoenix Mutual, State Mutual, Employers Group of Wausau and many others have pulled out of the group medical insurance market. These were the giants in the industry. Do you think they got out of the group medical insurance market because they got tired of making unconscienable profits? Do you believe they got out because they had sudden pangs of conscience? They got out of the group health insurance business because it was costing them more than they were making on it. Today we have only a few of the major companies left in the group health insurance market, Aetna, Blue Cross, CIGNA, Humana, United Health Care and Kaiser Health plans. There are still a few other smaller players in the group health market, but they can't compete nationally with the few remaining bigger players.

    8. JAK Virginia says:

      The Obama sponsored legislation is referred to as Affordable Health Care suggesting that the Bill addresses and resolves the escalating costs of implementing the reform. However, the facts are, that the legislation does not address all the costs of the new HC program, and as Mr. Buffett highlighted the legislation does not resolves how the country can financially support the reform legislation and sustain the encurred huge national debt.

      Mr. Buffett is like all Americans, in that he fears that HC cuts and spending, as outlined in the new Bill, will destroy existing programs and plunge the country into an economic depression. Rather he suggests, we should fix what is wrong with the current system, and then add the enhancements and increase the membership when the plan becomes viable and stable.

    9. Ron Thompson says:

      Some people are smart in one area, like University Professors, and do very well in that area. As a result, people believe that they are knowledgeable in all areas! Untrue! A professor is smartist in the area of their expertise, while in other areas they are some what smart, as good as their expertise. Every once in a while they glean a nugget of truth. But the bottom line is Professor are not professors in all subjects! The same is true with people like Buffett, money smart definately, but, politically not. Obama is a man of determination, regardless of the consquences or results of his actions. When he gets a though stuck in his head it is full speed ahead, no matter of cost, consquences or anything else. He was and is taught by the pro's; Alnsky, Wright, Marx and Lenin and he is doing a great job of manipulating the Amercian public. This bill is going to pass regardless of what the public want, because Obama wants it. It will be a cold day before he starts over again!

    10. Pingback: Burn, Baby, Burn that Hole in Your Pocket. . . or Not | Sports Car Insurance Louisiana

    11. Tea Party Patriot says:

      Control medical COSTS, COSTS, COSTS, and get out of business, so they can provide Americans with JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!

    12. Tim Az says:

      In last Friday's local paper I saw a caricature of Obama stating the following. "My fellow Americans. I have listened to your complaints! I understand that you don't want government healthcare shoved down your throats! So I've created a compromise plan. It's a suppository!"

    13. Billie says:

      There is no reason health care insurance in the free market can't be open to all. And it should remain a choice. Government has to simply get out of the way. This is purposely being done in effort to aid in the collapse of the economy and take over the privacy of our health care or Obama wouldn't be so ignorant and demanding.

    14. Lioness, Wisconsin says:

      We need people who can say "I told you so" — when this house of cards collapses! Nevertheless, there is so much amiss (amess) with this bill of confusion, that I'm praying for a miracle and the thing dies because sensible lawmakers wake up and kill it — before it kills us.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.