Report: Even if economy recovers, health care and Medicaid costs will remain economic burden

Published on July 19, 2012 at 3:16 AM · No Comments

Rising health care and Medicaid costs coupled with flat revenue are parts of a bevy of economic problems states face in the coming years even if the economy recovers, according to a new report from the State Budget Crisis Task Force -- led in part by a former Federal Reserve chairman.

The New York Times: Gloomy Forecast For States, Even If Economy Rebounds
The fiscal crisis for states will persist long after the economy rebounds as they confront rising health care costs, underfunded pensions, ignored infrastructure needs, eroding revenues and expected federal budget cuts, according to a report issued here Tuesday by a task force of respected budget experts (Williams Walsh and Cooper, 7/17).

The Wall Street Journal: Report Details Threats To States' Fiscal Health
Rising Medicaid costs and pension expenses for public employees threaten states' abilities to provide basic government services as they continue struggling with unreliable tax bases in a weak economy, according to a task-force report. The report by the State Budget Crisis Task Force, which is co-chaired by Paul Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman, and Richard Ravitch, a one-time lieutenant governor of New York, says states' growing gaps between entitlement spending and available revenue are becoming unsustainable (Corkery, 7/17).

The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: Report: U.S. States' Financial Woes Eroding Services
U.S. states face long-term budget burdens that are already limiting their ability to pay for basic services such as law enforcement, local schools and transportation, a report released Tuesday said. Aging populations and rising health care costs are inflating Medicaid and pension expenses. At the same time, revenue from sales and gas taxes is shrinking. And grants from the federal government, which provide about a third of state revenue, are likely to shrink, the report said (7/17).

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