GE Healthcare exec says reform debate slows sales

Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:59pm EDT

* U.S. equipment orders down 10 pct-15 pct

* Says debate freezes capital expenditures

BOSTON Oct 20 (Reuters) - The head of General Electric Co (GE.N) said on Tuesday that the U.S. debate on reforming the health care system has hurt his business by prompting hospital executives to put off making new orders.

"The prospect of health care reform is actually worse than health care reform itself. Both of these things freeze capital expenditures in the marketplace," said John Dineen, president and chief executive of GE Healthcare.

U.S. equipment offers have been down by 10 percent to 15 percent so far this year, Dineen told analysts. (Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing Bernard Orr)

FILED UNDER: