Business Briefs – November 6, 2017

Anthem Picks Former UnitedHealth Executive to Become CEO

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurer Anthem has picked a former top executive from its biggest competitor to replace Joseph Swedish as its next CEO. Anthem says Gail K. Boudreaux will start Nov. 20. Swedish will serve as executive chairman until May and then as senior adviser for a couple more years.

Why Debt From GOP Tax Cuts Might Impose a Painful Price

WASHINGTON (AP) – When House Republicans proposed their tax-cut plan last week, critics noted that it came with a towering price: It would swell the nation’s debt by $1.5 trillion at a time when the economy is already faring well on its own and a vast generation of retiring baby boomers threatens to strain the Social Security and Medicare programs. More debt could drive interest rates up as the government competes with private borrowers for credit. It could also eventually require cuts to popular spending programs. And it might leave policymakers with less ammunition the next time a recession strikes.

Lawmakers Bicker Over Whether Tax Bill Helps Middle Class

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee are bickering over whether or not GOP tax cut legislation helps the middle class. The panel has begun a marathon session to vote on the bill, which tops the White House and Republican agenda. Republicans are focusing on the bill’s short-term impact lowering taxes across all income levels, while Democrats point to a nonpartisan analysis finding tens of millions of lower-income Americans would pay higher taxes in years to come.

Analysis Indicates GOP Tax Measure a Mixed Bag

WASHINGTON (AP) – A nonpartisan tax analysis group says the proposed House Republican tax cut would leave 28 percent of people facing tax increases by 2027. The Tax Policy Center also says that in 2018, when the measure would first take effect, 12 percent of people would see higher taxes. The group says that next year, there would be an average tax cut of $1,100 under the legislation. But the amount would vary by income.

Firm of Detained Saudi Prince Seeks to Reassure Investors

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The company chaired by a detained Saudi billionaire prince is seeking to reassure investors after its stock plunged following his arrest in a purported corruption sweep. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Co. said in a statement Monday that it has the government’s “vote of confidence” as it pursues its investment strategy and global business operations.