BUSINESS

Philips CEO Frans van Houten: Obamacare Hurting My Business

04/22/2013 09:56 am ET | Updated Apr 22, 2013

Looming changes as a result of Obamacare are making hospital officials hesitant to make big investments, according to the CEO of one company that makes medical devices.

Frans van Houten, the CEO of Philips, which makes both consumer electronics and health care devices, said uncertainty surrounding President Obama’s health care reform law is hurting his business. Philips reported a first quarter profit that missed analysts’ estimates in part as a result of a slowdown in health care spending. That all comes after a year when the company announced thousands of job cuts in an aim to save more than roughly $1.3 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Health care reform, van Houten told CNBC, “is making hospital CEOs very careful about their capital investments and I think that is what is slowing down that marketplace." But he doesn’t expect hospitals to hold back forever: “We do expect over time those orders to come back."

Yet hospitals appear less in danger than many other areas of the health care center. After Obama’s re-election, in fact, investors said they expected hospitals to be some of Obamacare's biggest winners, while insurance companies and medical device makers were expected to face higher costs, according to Reuters.

Hospitals aren’t the only ones holding back as they wait for the effects of Obamacare to become more clear. Patients are increasingly staying away from the doctor’s office, per Reuters, as employers are attempting to shift benefits to high-deductible plans.

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