WASHINGTON (AP) - The financial health of Social Security and
Medicare, the government's two biggest benefit programs, worsened
in the past year because of the severe recession.
Trustees of the two programs said Tuesday that Social Security
will start paying out more in benefits than it collects in taxes in
2016, one year sooner than projected last year, and the giant trust
fund will be depleted by 2037, four years sooner.
The trustees said Medicare was in even worse shape. They said
that the trust fund for hospital expenses will pay out more in
benefits than it collects this year and will be insolvent by 2017,
two years earlier than the date projected in last year's report.