The deep economic recession has brought the days of reckoning for Social Security and Medicare much closer, with Medicare's program for hospital stays already running in the red and Social Security expected to start taking in less cash than it pays out beginning in 2016.
A new report detailing the programs' deteriorating finances makes it clear that Congress will have to decide sooner than it had expected to either curtail the programs or find new sources of revenue to bolster them. Taxpayers and recipients probably will have to pay more as a result, analysts said.
Both programs will run out of cash faster than expected, the programs' trustees said Tuesday. The report revealed for the first time that because of rapidly declining revenues, the Medicare trust fund for hospital expenses has been collecting less in taxes and interest income than it pays out in benefits since last year.
Democrats wildly cheer failure of Social Security reform video.