USA Today, February 10, 2011
Demand for health-related services at the state level is growing, voters don't want to raise taxes, payments to doctors, hospitals and clinics have already been reduced, and states risk losing federal funds if they cut eligibility for the joint federal-state Medicaid health program for the poor and disabled. Most states have cut services and budgets during the recession. Even though the economy is picking up, state revenue is weak ? and billions in temporary federal stimulus funding that helped many governors avoid deeper cuts dry up June 30. The next fiscal year is shaping up to be the worst since the Great Depression, says Michael Leachman of the liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C. It reports that 44 states and the District of Columbia project shortfalls totaling $125 billion for fiscal 2012, which begins in July for most.