Warren Buffett Supports Senate Bill, Franken And Ryan Pushing Their Health Reform Ideas
Various personalities are weighing in on health legislation.
CNBC interviewed billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who "called the nation's health care spending 'untenable,' comparing 'out of control' costs to a 'tapeworm eating at our economic body.' While he would support the current Senate health care reform bill if pressed, Buffett says he would prefer a 'Plan C' that would control costs by changing the financial incentives of the system" (Crippen, 3/1).
Reuters: "The world's second-richest person called on Washington policymakers to adopt fundamental reforms on such costs to address what he called a 'national emergency.' He said health care eats up 17 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, at a time when many other countries pay only nine or 10 percent of GDP but have more doctors, nurses and hospital beds per capita" (Stempel, 3/1).
Roll Call: Sen. Al Franken is "breaking out of his shell and positioning himself as an aggressive liberal presence in the Senate - particularly when it comes to one of the most controversial topics in Washington, D.C.: health care reform." He has "become an outspoken voice pushing for a public insurance option." ... Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said Franken 'educated the whole caucus well' on how Minnesota successfully limited how much money health insurers could spend on administrative costs, advertising and profits" (Toeplitz and Pierce, 3/2).
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., is getting attention from conservatives for his health care proposal, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. "Ryan's proposal, part of what he calls 'A Roadmap for America's Future,' would replace the existing Medicare benefit for people under 55 with a voucher that could be used to buy private insurance. The payment, which Ryan has said would initially average $11,000 a year, would be adjusted for inflation and tied to income." Ryan says the plan would lessen the "fiscal challenges facing the Medicare program" and would lower costs by pressuring doctors to be more efficient (Boulton, 3/2).