Christie Provost Peters
Over the past two years, states have faced record budget challenges due to the depth and length of the national recession, and virtually all are struggling to close budget shortfalls for fiscal year 2011. As state officials ponder budgetary pressures and consider tradeoffs among expenditures, many are reexamining the services they provide and how they conduct state business. Coinciding with all of this activity at the state level is national health care reform and an unprecedented opportunity to cover the uninsured. States have a huge role in implementing reform, including expanding Medicaid to low-income adults. This Forum session examined the fiscal status of states; the impact of the recession on state programs, operations, and spending; and state opportunities and challenges presented by national health care reform. Speakers discussed the outlook for states' recovery from the recession, the status of state health spending and programs, and state plans as they move forward with health care reform.
Raymond C. Scheppach, PhD, Executive Director, National Governors Association; Kathleen Gifford, Principal, Health Management Associates; Beth Kohler Lazare, Policy Advisor, Office of the Governor, State of Arizona; Donna Cooper, Secretary of Planning and Policy, Office of the Governor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania