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GE boss Jeff Immelt says Obamacare 'uncertainty' hurting medical business

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Obamacare,Health Care,GE

A week after General Electric blamed Obamacare for hurting its medical business, the company's chairman on Wednesday warned that uncertainty in the health care field will persist for much longer.

“I think that there's still a lot of uncertainty in health care and we'll just have to see that over time,” warned Jeff Immelt during a shareholders' meeting in Chicago.

Last week, the firm released financial figures which showed a rise in profits, but a cut in its medical business. That was blamed on companies and hospitals holding back on purchases of GE equipment out of concern over how bad Obamacare will hit their profit margins.

Reuters reported that GE Chief Financial Officer Jeff Bornstein attributed the spending cuts to a "massive structural change" in the U.S. health care market caused by Obamacare.

"I expect that softness to persist into the second quarter," Bornstein told Reuters.

Immelt's answer came in response to a question from Justin Danhof, director of the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project. The conservative think tank released a statement and audio recording on the Q&A.

"Obamacare's devastation is so far-reaching that it is now having a tangible, real-world negative affect on one of the world's largest and most diversified companies," Danhof said. "As CEO, Mr. Immelt has vast health care experience, yet even he cannot predict what the future of the Affordable Care Act will do to the country or his company,” he added in a statement.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.