For states, the worst ahead, governors say

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For states, the worst ahead, governors say
For states, the worst ahead, governors say

For many states, the economic outlook may continue to worsen. That's according to analysts who spoke recently at a National Governors Association meeting.

Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas (R), Chairman of the NGA, pointed out that many states' revenues have continued to deteriorate, and that previous financial forecasts are constantly being revised downward. One big concern was healthcare reform that could increase Medicaid costs. Medicaid is, by far, the biggest payer of U.S. long-term care services.

Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D), a proponent of national healthcare reform, suggested Congress should consider delaying a Medicaid expansion if states are still struggling financially in a few years' time.

A report issued at the end of the NGA meeting concluded that the coming fiscal year will be “the most difficult to date.” But many governors acknowledged that the situation could be worse. Without the $787 billion stimulus package passed last year, the recession could have been both longer and deeper, Douglas said.