Legislative Update For Week Ending November 11, 2011

Legislative Update For Week Ending November 11, 2011

GOP offers Super-Committee concession while seniors see increased poverty levels.

GOP Backs off “No New Taxes” Stance 

Super-Committee Republicans offer a 300 billion dollar tax-revenue concession. After an initial pledge not to raise taxes over the next decade, Republicans are willing to allow tax increases to help meet the 1.2 trillion dollar debt-reduction mandate by November 23rd.

The announcement comes as the Super-Committee members consider how much savings should come from tax cuts versus spending cuts. If the committee cannot come to an agreement by the November 23rd deadline, across-the-board budget cuts will occur.

Americans 65 and Older See Largest Increase in Poverty 

According to new census estimates, elderly Americans 65 or older incurred the largest increases in poverty among all age groups. The estimates reflect a new formula used to measure poverty.

The traditional formula does not take into account rising Medicare premiums, deductibles and expenses for prescription drugs that have had increasing effects on this segment in recent years. The revised formula accounted for 15.9 percent of seniors 65 or older living in poverty, which nearly doubled the percentage used in the traditional formula. In total, a record level of 49.1 million Americans are considered in poverty, according to the new estimates.

Insurance Industry Predicts Premium Increase 

The America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) trade group commission released a report claiming that insurance premiums would increase by 1.9 to 2.3 percent by 2014. The report asserts that the new fee will be passed on to consumers. Citing the annual fee on insurers mandate under the Affordable Care Act, an AHIP spokesperson predicted the increase in costs would act “just like any other sales tax.” The White House disputed the claim, saying that the report was “fundamentally flawed” and ignored provisions of the law that would decrease costs.