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“I would try to get a unified effort, say this is a national emergency to do something about this,” said Mr. Buffett, who supported Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign. “We need the Republicans, we need the Democrats. … We’re just going to focus on costs, and we’re not going to dream up 2,000 pages of other things.”

He said he prefers the Senate bill to the House bill, but favors creating new legislation that does more to lower costs and generates more public support.