States Have Not Yet Seen the Worst of Economic Times, Governors at Meeting Say

Given these problems, governors of both parties expressed concern about plans by Democrats in Congress to expand Medicaid, the program for low-income people.

Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said the health bills passed by the House and the Senate would impose “an enormous unfunded mandate on states,” forcing them to pick up $25 billion in new costs over 10 years.

Mr. Barbour explained what this would mean in Mississippi: “Either the state income tax or the state sales tax or both would have to be raised. We would add 300,000 people to the Medicaid rolls. It’s about a 50 percent increase.”

New York Times
2/20/10