Aetna CEO: 'Warren Buffett said healthcare was a tapeworm on US economy — It's true'

In February, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett called healthcare spending in the U.S. a "tapeworm on the economic system," and Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini agrees, according to CNBC.

The Aetna CEO told CNBC rising healthcare costs are squeezing the U.S. economy for trillions of dollars.

"Warren Buffett said healthcare is a 'tapeworm' on the U.S. economy. It's true," said Mr. Bertolini, according to CNBC.

This reality caused healthcare companies, including insurers, to seek cost reduction strategies.

"Fifty percent of the American population has a chronic disease. They drive 86 percent of our cost. So [of] $3.2 trillion, 86 percent of that... is what $2.6 trillion [or] $2.7 trillion," Mr. Bertolini said.

On March 13, Aetna shareholders approved CVS Health's $69 billion takeover of Aetna. Mr. Bertolini argues this deal will reduce healthcare spending by helping communities with poorer health.

"If we can get into the community and we can make the investments there, it's cheaper," he told CNBC. "We can win by just keeping people away from an emergency room visit."

Read the full report here.

 

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