CNBC's Becky Quick sits down with Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway chairman & CEO, and Brian Moynihan, Bank of America CEO, to talk about the debt ceiling, Obamacare and creating jobs in the U.S.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Buffett: Healthcare a huge problem for America
Fri 20 Sep 13 | 06:12 AM ET
pace of hiring will pick up. one of the difficult situations going on in america is the producers of products are so efficient that they're not hiring a lot more people to continue to generate revenue growth. that is one of the dirveth issues of getting us out of the unemployment numbers. the underlying fact, the competition for market loans is as severe as i've seen it. so it's really -- it's pretty strong. so what's holding hiring back at this point? you know, i think final demand is still uncertain for a lot of companies. they'll sit there and say i'll squeeze every ounce out of production. all this is good and it will break through where they'll have to do things. and have to says they're -- they're pro growth, just it's a grind. now, 2% versus 1% is better. in the second rt yeaher, there's a lot of fundamental aspects that we see across businesses that you just are relentlessly moving forward. as long as we don't do something to knock them off kilter. like not agreeing to lift the debt ceiling? well, that would be pretty dumb. if they do have some sort of government shutdown over this, what happens? what's the fallout? it would get resolved in a reasonable -- the market is not going to fall apart. they expect washington will only act irrationally for a certain length of time. it would have to get solved. so i don't -- it's so dumb, you know, that it's disturbing, but it isn't disturbing in terms of investing or in yao business plans. there were comments in the last week, warren, that you said obama care was wrong. that was wrong. that was just wrong. some firm pulled that out and suggested they had an interview with me. i never heard of the place before. it just isn't true. what do you think about the health care initiatives that are being put in place because we are getting closer? what i have said consistently is health care costs in this country are a tape worm of american business. and then when overall the economy what the has 17% of gdp going to health care. that lovts leaves 90 cents or thereabouts. it is a huge problem for the country and one we haven't fully addressed at all. but that is not the fault of obama care. those trends were in place ever since 1970 when we were spending 5%, a little over 5%. brian, have you seen any changes in your businesses or the businesses that you give loans to? any impact from obama care? well, i think just that the need to figure something out. when you're a company like ours that has 250,000 plus employees and has an hr team that's wonderful and has several thout thousand people, they can figure out how all these rules work. but if i'm running a 25-person manufacturing firm or a 50-person manufacturing firm, to figure out how it works, all this has an impact. so he think it's more that element than anything else. we're self-insured. so if we can save money and provide our employees better health care for less dollars, that's great. i think the affordable care act, the debate around it has focused business on how much this is really costing them. and we're all working. at the end of the day, that's why we exist. so we were trying to -- it's in my best interest and my team's best interest to have the healthiest, most robust workforce in the world.