Medicare, Social Security Grow With Baby Boomer Retirement, JoblessnessThe Washington Post: Rapid growth in the number of applicants for Social Security disability benefits has soared between 2008 and 2009, threatening the solvency of the program. With an increase of 21 percent in that timeframe, "growth is the sharpest in the 54-year history of the program. It threatens the program's fiscal stability and adds to an administrative backlog that is slowing the flow of benefits to those who need them most." Broad economic problems and a flood of jobless applicants have caused the spike (Fletcher, 9/14).
Gannet Washington Bureau/The (Lafayette, Ind.) Journal and Courier: Medicare and Social Security are already eating up bigger and bigger portions of federal spending. "The Census Bureau said the programs benefiting the most households were Social Security and Medicare, the retirement and health programs for the elderly. Social Security and Medicare accounted for nearly 40 percent of the $61 billion spent by the federal government in Indiana last year. Those programs, along with Medicaid, have grown in 40 years from 19 percent of the budget to 39 percent in 2009, more than doubling their share. And costs are going to keep growing as more baby boomers retire and health care costs continue to rise" (Groppe, 9/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.