The New York Times details how Warren Buffett believes it is Health Care, not Taxes, that is hurting US competitiveness which should be a concern to businesses in New York and Connecticut.
“If you go back to 1960 or thereabouts, corporate taxes were about 4 percent of G.D.P.,” Mr. Buffett said. “I mean, they bounced around some. And now, they’re about 2 percent of G.D.P.”
By contrast, he said, while tax rates have fallen as a share of gross domestic product, health care costs have ballooned. About 50 years ago, he said, “health care was 5 percent of G.D.P., and now it’s about 17 percent.”
His is one of the most cogent arguments for renewing attention on the underlying costs of our health care system — an issue far beyond the debate around the Affordable Care Act and what it is going to look like if it is repealed and replaced.
Mr. Buffett said our global competitiveness had fallen largely because our businesses were paying far more for health care — a tax by another name — than those in other countries.
At his annual shareholders’ conference, which drew tens of thousands of people to Omaha, he gave a virtual seminar on the economics of health care that chief executives and lawmakers would be helped by hearing. He demonstrated in stark terms that the constant refrain from the business community about taxes should probably be redirected toward trying to bend the cost curve of health care.
“When American business talks about strangling our competitiveness, or that sort of thing, they’re talking about something that as a percentage of G.D.P. has gone down,” Mr. Buffett said. “While medical costs, which are borne to a great extent by business,” have swelled.”