A dire forecast by trustees of Social Security and Medicare adds urgency to calls on Washington to do something soon as baby boomers begin retiring.
WASHINGTON — The nation’s Social Security and Medicare programs are sliding closer to insolvency, the federal government warned in a new report underscoring the fiscal challenges facing the two mammoth retirement programs as baby boomers begin to retire.
Medicare, which will provide health insurance to more than 50 million elderly and disabled Americans this year, is expected to start operating in the red in its largest fund in 2024, according to the annual assessment by the trustees charged with overseeing the programs. That’s unchanged from last year.
And the Social Security trust fund, which will provide assistance to more than 45 million people in 2012, will be unable under current trends to fulfill its obligations in 2033, three years earlier than projected last year.
“We must take steps to keep these programs whole for the future,” Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, the senior trustee, told reporters Monday.