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Charlie Munger: Health Care System Prolongs Life Unnecessarily

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Charlie Munger spoke about costs of prolonging life on CNBC

Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger has waded into the end of life care debate.

During a lengthy interview broadcast Monday from Omaha, Neb., where Berkshire Hathaway held its annual shareholders meeting, Munger, 91, said the American health care system prolongs life unnecessarily. 

“I would come down hard, if I had any power in the system, against prolonging [life] so you can bill the government more and more,” he said. “You’re lining your own pockets in a perfectly disgusting way. The health care system has a lot to atone for. If you actually go in the hospitals, you’ll find people just lying there, huge invoices going out and no possibility they’re ever improving.”

Munger leads Good Samaritan Hospital’s board in Los Angeles.

In March, Munger joined bestselling author and respected surgeon Dr. Atul Gawande in a panel discussion to decry health care’s fee-for-service payment model that often rewards doctors for performing more procedures instead of focusing on patients’ quality-of-life.