On Fox & Friends, co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade misrepresented Warren Buffett's recent comments on health care reform, claiming that Buffett doesn't support current legislation and that "he called health care reform a tapeworm that is basically sucking the life out of the economy." In fact, Buffett called health care costs, not reform, a "tapeworm," and made clear that he supported the Senate bill over no reform.
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Fox & Friends misrepresent Buffett's comments on health care reform
Doocy: Buffet says "he simply cannot go along with this particular health care bill." On the March 2 broadcast of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy misrepresented comments Warren Buffett made during a March 1 CNBC interview. Doocy claimed that in the interview, Buffett said "that he simply cannot go along with this particular health care bill" and that he "would...start over, which is the same thing that the Republicans are asking for."
Kilmeade: Buffet "called health care reform a tapeworm that is basically sucking the life out of the economy." Following Doocy's remarks, co-host Brian Kilmeade added that Buffet "called health care reform a tapeworm that is basically sucking the life out of the economy."
Buffett said costs, not reform, is damaging the economy, and expressed support for the Senate bill over no reform
Buffett: "I would vote for the Senate bill" over no reform. On the March 1 edition of CNBC's Squawk Box, Buffett said that, although he would prefer reform that does more to deal with health care costs, he would support the Senate bill over no reform at all. From the March 1 edition of CNBC's Squawk Box:
REBECCA QUICK: This is different than what you've said when we've talked to you in the past. I mean, even a couple months ago when I sat down and talked to you, you said that you would vote, I believe, for the bill if it were in front of you.
BUFFETT: I--if it's a choice...
QUICK: When did you change your mind?
BUFFETT: No, 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.
Buffett: Health care costs that "equal close to 17 percent of GDP" is "like a tapeworm eating" at the economy. Buffett described the current health care situation as "Plan A" and claimed it's effect on the GDP "is like a tapeworm" which is "eating at our economic body." From the March 1 edition of CNBC's Squawk Box:
QUICK: Or not moving through. Nancy Pelosi said at this point she does not think that there's going to be any bipartisan support. What do you think about the idea of taking this into reconciliation and cramming it through?
BUFFETT: Well, the health--the health situation, what we have now is untenable over time. I mean, it--call what we're doing now plan A, and plan A has taken us from 5 percent of GDP to 17 or close to 17 percent of GDP. And that kind of a cost compared to the rest of the world is really a--it's like a tapeworm eating, you know, at our economic body. Every--everything we produce for export, everything we compete with that comes imported in this country, everything is bearing that cost, and it's a cost that the rest of the world isn't bearing. And the--tops around the world, you find 10 percent of GDP. We have fewer doctors than many--we have two and a half--a little over two and a half doctors per thousand, much of the world has well over three doctors. We have 11 nurses per thousand, much of the world has far more nurses per thousand. We have three beds per thousand, hospital beds per thousand, much of the world has six or seven beds per thousand. We have higher infant mortality than most places, or many places. We have higher--we have shorter overall mortality. So 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.