Walked into the office this morning determined to write aboutMedicare. Compelling stuff, I know, but as the staggering economytakes its toll on every other aspect of our lives, I thought itmight be time to highlight the beating Medicare is taking becauseof the precipitous plunge in payroll taxes.

(The latest estimate has Medicare running dry by 2017, nearlytwo decades sooner than Social Security, which seems to get all thepress.)

But before I could make my second trip to Starbucks thismorning, a broker friend called me, a little freaked out by ane-mail she'd just received. Talk about your wake-up call; thisthing was more jarring than an Eminem lyric.

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