Appropriations Summary

Actual[1]

Recommended

Savings

Interdepartmental Grants/Transfers

$69,172,900

$69,012,485

$160,415

Federal Funds

$5,177,291,200

$5,000,201,114

$177,090,086

General Fund/General Purpose

$2,477,706,900

$2,063,868,224

$413,838,676

Special Revenue Funds

$2,075,011,300

$2,051,139,578

$23,871,722

Gross Appropriation

$9,799,182,300

$9,184,221,401

$614,960,899

Created in 1996 by an executive order that consolidated the Departments of Mental Health and Public Health with Medicaid and the Office of Drug Control Policy, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) also incorporates the Office of Services to the Aging. It has absorbed the Adult Home Health Help Program and the Social Services to the Physically Disabled Program from the Family Independence Agency, as well as the Crime Victims Services Commission.

The Michigan Department of Community Health oversees state’s healthcare policies and manages its publicly funded health systems. The department’s stated mission is quite broad: it “strives for a healthier Michigan.”[2] In pursuit of that goal, the department has three objectives: “Promote access to the broadest possible range of quality services and supports; take steps to prevent disease, promote wellness and improve quality of life [and] strive for the delivery of those services and supports in a fiscally prudent manner.”[3]

The number and scope of government services that could be justified under the rubric of promoting wellness and improving the quality of life is limitless. It is no surprise, then, that MDCH is one of the state’s largest departments. Each year, an estimated 1.5 million Michigan residents receive services that are provided with total or partial support from MDCH. Its gross appropriations for fiscal year 2003 exceed $9 billion, and it employs approximately 5,465 people, in addition to supporting additional employees in county governments.

The department provides services to Michigan citizens from before birth to death. It is time for the state to rethink this department’s mission and limit state government control and funding of healthcare services.