Burdensome levels of regulation are stunting growth, and nowhere is that more prevalent than with the Affordable Care Act, businessman Ken Langone said Wednesday.
Speaking at Skybridge Asset Management's SALT conference in Las Vegas, the founder of Home Depot and namesake of the NYU Langone Medical Center railed against the restrictions faced by American businesses.
In particular, he cited finance and medicine as two fields getting hit particularly hard.
"This act does not have a happy ending," Langone said of the universal health care plan commonly known as Obamacare. "The biggest risk I see is the discouragement of young people to go into the field of medicine. I believe the way it's heading now, and the way we are, there's a very good chance of a major shortage of doctors in the next 10 or 15 years."
In his role with the medical center, Langone said he's been raising money so that the best and brightest minds can get their education without having huge debt burdens when they are finished.
However, he said Obamcare is reducing incentives for students to enter the medical fields, even though recent statistics indicate the opposite is happening. A record 48,014 students applied to medical schools in 2013, a rise of 6.1 percent, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Langone insisted that Washington's targeting of big Wall Street banks has the financial services industry on the ropes.
"One of the great challenges going forward is how do we restore the elegance of the banks that young people want to go there, want to work there to pursue their careers there," Langone said. "The essence of business to me is great people run great companies. Mediocre people don't do a very good job."
Irrespective of the obstacles posed by regulation, Langone encouraged the more than 2,000 investing professionals in attendance not only to continue to succeed but also to give back.
He said he grows frustrated with why charities like the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps disabled veterans, have to expend so much energy to get people to donate.
"Why in the hell does a kid whose lost an arm or a leg or a face—why does that person have to be paraded on television...so they can appeal to you to send $19 a month to help this man, whose every need should be taken care of by all of us and every American?" Langone said. "We give billions of dollars a year to people who do nothing."