3. Governors have to balance their state budgets under the law and cannot run deficits. The recession has decimated most state budgets due to lower tax receipts accompanied by increasing demand for services — like health, education, and social services as citizens lose jobs. The Washington Post discussed the painful burdens of governors earlier this month, noting that the National Governors Association is lobbying hard against any additional unfunded mandates for health and other programs.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: Time for the Kaiser team to update their metric on 1% = 1.1 + 1. The “1 million people” expected to be absorbed by Medicaid is now unsustainable given the depth and length of the recession. The U.S. has lost about 6,582,000 jobs since January 2008. The rate of job losses in the past six months hasn’t dramatically slowed — we lost 467,000 jobs in July, 466,000 jobs in August, and 263,000 jobs in September — so over 1 million jobs lost in just the past 3 months.
One job that’s dealing with this intensely is the Governor’s — having to dial down services when more are being demanded. Expect Medicaid to foist off prospective enrollees to the uninsured rolls in this so-called “jobless recovery.”