Obama Increase Likely For Low-Income Elderly

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democratic lawmakers say they hope to have an economic stimulus ready for the next president's signature by mid-February.

But they say numerous provisions remain unsettled.

A plan put forth by President-elect Barack Obama calls for an increase in Supplemental Security Income for 7 million poor people who are elderly, blind or disabled. Aides say the idea of an extra SSI payment is gaining traction in negotiations.

The plan is also said to provide at least $70 billion over the next two years to help states meet the demand for Medicaid, and another $25 billion more to help individuals who cannot afford to pay for private, post-employment health benefits.

An estimated $35 billion is tentatively ticketed for additional unemployment benefits.

The tax provisions remain undecided. But some Democratic officials say Obama's call for a tax break for companies that create new jobs is all but dead.

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