The question now is whether the governors of the 50 states, particularly the Democrats, are going to sit idly by and let their budgets be destroyed by the health care bill.
When the Republicans in Congress insisted on tacking big cuts in aid to legal immigrant benefits for disability and other areas onto the welfare reform bill, it was the Republican governors who forced them to repeal the pernicious cuts the very next year. They did not want to have to raise taxes to make up for the withdrawal of federal funding.
Now, the Democratic governors face the same situation. If Obamacare passes with its expansion of Medicaid benefits -- but with no federal funding of the extra spending -- it is these Democrats and their legislatures that will have to bite the bullet and pass new taxes to pay for it.
Since states are already facing mammoth financial problems as a result of dwindling revenues and swelling expenditures in the recession, these additional burdens could be politically fatal. Unless Democratic governors want to avoid the fate of one of their late brethren, former Gov. Jon Corzine of New Jersey, whose political career was ended in a blaze of new taxes, they might want to call their buddies in Congress and ask them to lay off the unfunded mandates, particularly during this recession.