Business

Buffett: Republican healthcare bill a tax cut for the rich

OMAHA: Berkshire chairman Warren Buffett fumed that healthcare costs are eating away at the US economy like "tapeworm" and said the Republican approach to overhauling Obamacare is a tax cut for the rich.

The US 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 in Omaha, Mr Buffett said his federal income taxes last year would have gone down 17 per cent had the new law been in effect. "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.

Mr Buffett said rising healthcare costs are crippling the competitiveness of US companies abroad. He said healthcare costs have risen much faster in the US than in the rest of the world and "will go up a lot more". - REUTERS

taxhealthunited states