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Trustees: Worsening picture for benefit programs

May 13, 2011 12:18:00 PM - thestate.com
The government says that a bad economy has shortened the life of the trust funds that support the nation's two biggest benefit programs.

The annual checkup said that the Medicare hospital insurance fund will now be exhausted in 2024, five years earlier than last year's estimate. The new report says that the Social Security trust fund will be exhausted in 2036, one year earlier than before.

The trustees for the trust funds said in their annual report that the worsening financial picture emphasized the need for Congress to make changes to avoid disruptive consequences in the future for millions of people who depend on health and pension benefits.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Congress is putting off changes to Social Security, but the massive retirement and disability program still faces long-term financial problems from an aging population and an economy that has been slow to rebound.

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