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May 13, 2011

Good News! Social Security And Medicare Trust Funds Running Out Of Money Faster Than Expected

At the risk of encroaching on Monty's beat, here we go.

The country's two marquee social insurance programs, Social Security and Medicare, face worsening fiscal conditions driven by near-term economic challenges and long-term trends of population aging and health care costs, according to the annual report released by the two entitlements' board of trustees.

The trust funds of Treasury bonds that provide back-stop funding for the programs will be exhausted sooner than anticipated: the Medicare hospital insurance fund will exhaust five years sooner than previously expected, in 2024, and the Social Security trust fund will expire in 2036, a year earlier than last projected.

The trustees, led by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, concluded the two programs are not on a sustainable path and that legislative action will be needed to avoid "disruptive consequences" to benificiaries and taxpayers.

Clearly this news will lead Democrats to act in a responsible way and work with the GOP to tackle this ticking time bomb ratchet up their "Republicans Want To Kill Old People" rhetoric to unprecedented levels.

Related enough: You remember Obama's big plans to save money on healthcare costs as part of ObamaCare? Yeah, totally "unworkable".

President Barack Obama's main idea for getting quality health care at less cost was in jeopardy Wednesday after key medical providers called his administration's initial blueprint so complex it's unworkable.

Just over a month ago, the administration released long-awaited draft regulations for "accountable care organizations," networks of doctors and hospitals that would collaborate to keep Medicare patients healthier and share in the savings with taxpayers. Obama's health care overhaul law envisioned quickly setting up hundreds of such networks around the county to lead a bottom-up reform of America's bloated health care system.

But in an unusual rebuke, an umbrella group representing premier organizations such as the Mayo Clinic wrote the administration Wednesday saying that more than 90 percent of its members would not participate, because the rules as written are so onerous it would be nearly impossible for them to succeed.

What's that word again? Oh right, DOOM.

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posted by DrewM. at 12:48 PM

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