Medicare, Social Security Will Go Bust Sooner

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2009 3:56 PM CDT
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speaks as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner listens during a news conference Tuesday.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The recession has hurt the already-shaky finances of Medicare and Social Security, the Washington Post reports. Medicare is now projected to run out of money in 2017, two years earlier than the last projection. Social Security, meanwhile, is expected to be insolvent in 2037, four years earlier. The annual report reflects the rising unemployment rate—and the corresponding drop in workers paying into the systems.

“The longer we wait to address the long-term solvency of Medicare and Social Security, the sooner those challenges will be upon us and the harder the options will be,” said Treasury chief Timothy Geithner. The findings aren’t a huge surprise, but show that the recession is taking a far greater toll on the entitlement programs than the milder recession earlier this decade.