Program: Local public health operations

Appropriation:

All from GF/GP:

$41,070,200

 

Total:

$41,070,200[33]

 

Program Description:

This appropriation funds operations that provide matching funds to local health departments for spending on any of nine services: immunizations, infectious disease control, STD control, hearing screening, private groundwater supply, and on-site sewage management. 

Program Recommendation:

The state could change the public health code to remove any mandates for health services (such as those listed above) and eliminate matching grants that fund these activities at the local level.  Local units of government have their own reasons to provide such services and pay for them directly.  State intrusion, however well intended, attempts to provide universal solutions that cannot take into account all of the unique circumstances of respective counties, villages, and townships (CVTs).  Rather than pay for half of all local hearing or sexually transmitted disease tests from state funds, for instance, the program could be eliminated and CVTs could determine their own public health destinies.  The debate to raise taxes at the local level for such programs could personalize the issue, and lead citizens to better grasp the marginal costs and benefits of health programs, and how those programs directly affect their communities.  Savings: $41,070,200.