(Bloomberg) — The health insurance bill approved by House Republicans this week with the support of President Donald Trump will aid the wealthiest Americans at the expense of everyone else and likely drive up the budget deficit, billionaire Warren Buffett said.
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“It is a huge tax cut for guys like me,” Buffett said Saturday at the annual meeting of his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. in Omaha, Nebraska. “And when there’s a tax cut, either the deficit goes up or they get the taxes from somebody else.”
At the same time, Buffett said, health care costs, which in recent decades have risen much more in the U.S. as a percentage of the economy than in other countries, put the nation at a competitive disadvantage.
The House on May 4 narrowly passed H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act bill. The bill would change and de-fund the Affordable Care Act. Action now shifts to the Senate, which is expected to write its own legislation.
Asked about the House bill, Buffett said, “All I can tell you is the net effect of that act on one person, is that my federal income tax would have gone down 17% last year if what was proposed went into effect.”
A feature of the House plan was to repeal added taxes on payroll and investmentincome for high earners. Those levies helped fund Obamacare’s expansion ofhealth insurance for poor Americans.