Appropriations in this segment of the budget “promote healthy lifestyles.”[34] The fact that “healthy lifestyles” is a good thing does not answer the question, “Is this a legitimate function of limited government?” Residents of Michigan, and the United States as a whole, do not suffer from lack of opportunity to learn about health issues. From Consumer Reports magazine to books to television shows, there are many ways that people can learn about healthy living. There is little need for expansive educational campaigns by governments.

Program: African-American male health initiative

Appropriation:

All from GF/GP:

$320,000

 

Total:

$320,000[35]

Program Description:

This appropriation funds the African-American Male Health Initiative, a program that provides community-based prevention and disease detection to African-American men, providing services such as screening for hypertension and diabetes.[36]

Recommended Action:

This program should be eliminated.  The state, to the extent that it has a health program, should serve the needs of the population as a whole.  Special outreach activities to minority groups could be conducted by private organizations that advance the interests and serve the needs of those groups.  Health services should not be either withheld or dispensed on the basis of race.  Savings: $320,000.

Program: Alzheimer’s information network

Appropriation:

Federal Funds:

$150,000

 

Special Revenue Funds:

$290,000

 

Total:

$440,000[37]

Program description:

This appropriation funds the Alzheimer’s information network, a program that supports statewide and regional information and referral centers for persons with Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

Recommended Action:

This program should be eliminated.  The fact that these diseases have serious effects on individuals and their families does not make the case for state intervention.  While it is encouraging that the state is channeling this effort through groups such as the Alzheimer’s Association, even this outsourcing effort politicizes disease management by subjecting it to the budget process. The medical establishment as well as private, nonprofit, public service organizations are capable of providing information as required.  Savings: $440,000.

Program: Cancer prevention and control program

Appropriation:

Federal Funds:

$8,552,700

 

Special Revenue Funds:

$1,534,600

 

GF/GP:

$3,494,100

 

Total:

$13,581,400[38]

Program description:

This appropriation funds the Cancer Prevention and Control program, which provides grants to communities for screening and follow-up services for cancer, cancer education, and early detection, and grants for cancer prevention activities.

Recommended Action:

This funding could be eliminated.  The private sector has and continues to provide these services on a for- and non-profit basis.  While these diseases have serious effects on individuals and their families, the case for state intervention is weak. The medical establishment as well as private voluntary groups are capable of providing information and services as required.  Savings: $13,581,400.

Program: Chronic disease prevention

Appropriation:

Federal Funds:

$1,228,300

 

Special Revenue Funds:

$189,100

 

GF/GP:

$155,000

 

Total:

$1,572,400[39]

Program Description:

This appropriation funds the Chronic Disease Prevention program, a program that provides funds to local health departments to develop community coalitions to address chronic diseases and to develop programs and provide grants to reduce chronic disease, focusing on arthritis, stroke, and obesity.

Recommended Action:

This program should be eliminated.  Arthritis and strokes devastate lives of Michigan residents every day, and obesity is implicated in various health problems. Institutions of civil society, nonprofit groups, medical and community associations, and special-interest media outlets are capable of spreading the news about disease prevention and treatment.  Savings: $1,572,400.

Program: Diabetes and kidney program

Appropriation:

Federal Funds:

$1,059,000

 

Special Revenue Funds:

$93,600

 

GF/GP:

$2,833,100

 

Total:

$3,985,700[40]

Program description:

This appropriation funds primarily the administrative staff and other expenses related to contracts to help mitigate diabetes and kidney disease through prevention programs.

Recommended Action:

This program should be eliminated.  While well intentioned, many private groups exist to educate people about the risks of diabetes and kidney disease.  For example, The National Kidney Association and American Diabetes Association both operate web sites with extraordinary amounts of information on Kidney and Diabetes-related topics.  Savings: $3,985,700.

Program: Health education, promotion, and research programs

Appropriation:

Federal Funds:

$102,800

 

Special Revenue Funds:

$726,300

 

GF/GP:

$523,700

 

Total:

$1,352,800[41]

Program Description:

This appropriation funds the Health Education, Promotion, and Research programs.  These programs support costs related to health research, work site and community health promotion, the tobacco program, school health, and osteoporosis prevention and treatment education.

Recommended Action:

This program should be eliminated.  Basic research into health can more effectively be funded in other line items; health promotion and education of various diseases and in various settings can be done by voluntary groups and health businesses.  Savings: $1,352,800.

Program: Injury control intervention project

Appropriation:

Federal Funds:

$325,000

 

GF/GP:

$600,000

 

Total:

$925,000[42]

Program Description:

This appropriation funds the Injury Control Intervention project. This project operates and oversees programs to prevent disabilities, including fire safety, traumatic brain injury, and community childhood injury prevention programs.

Recommended Action:

This program should be eliminated.  Individuals have every incentive to be concerned about their own health and safety and that of their loved ones.  Institutions of civil society — individuals, private associations, and community groups — can all work to promote safe living based on their perceived needs and wants.  Savings: $925,000.

Program:  Morris Hood Wayne State University diabetes outreach

Appropriation:

All from Special Revenue Funds:

$500,000

 

Total:

$500,000[43]

 

Program Description:

This appropriation funds the Morris Hood Wayne State University Diabetes Outreach program which works to identify and test people who may be at high risk for contracting diabetes. 

Recommended Action:

Funding for this program should be eliminated.  While well intentioned, this program need not be subsidized by the state.  Nonprofit organizations and other institutions of civil society work on behalf of many causes, debilitating diseases being just one.  For instance, the American Diabetes Association accepts no government funds, yet it raises money privately to donate to research on the disease and the same type of community outreach work funded by the Morris Hood Wayne State University program.  The American Diabetes Association has four branch offices in this state alone.  They are located in  Bingham Farms, Lansing, Portage, and Grand Rapids, respectively.  Savings: $500,000.

Program: Obesity program

Appropriation:

Federal Funds:

$250,000

 

GF/GP:

$200,000

 

Total:

$450,000[44]

Program Description:

This appropriation funds the obesity program, an initiative to “increase healthy eating and physical activity among consumers” and decrease the number of overweight individuals in the state.[45]

Program Recommendation:

This program should be eliminated.  While there is obvious health problems associated with obesity, addressing those problems need not be a function of state government.  Institutions of civil society such as individuals, community medical associations, and state and national health associations can work to raise awareness about the dangers of obesity based on their own calculus. Savings: $450,000. 

Program: Physical fitness, nutrition, and health

Appropriation:

All from GF/GP:

$1,245,000

 

Total:

$1,245,000[46]

Program Description:

This appropriation funds grants to support a statewide network of local physical fitness, health, and sports councils so that they may develop a physical fitness curriculum. The money is used to educate the public on ways of preventing sports injuries. 

Recommended Action:

This program should be eliminated.  Michigan’s residents enjoy a wide variety of physical activities for health, work and recreation. Recreation and health industries have enough incentive to promote physical fitness.  Savings: $1,245,000.

Program: Public health traffic safety coordination

Appropriation:

Federal Funds:

$350,000

 

GF/GP:

$300,000

 

Total:

$650,000[47]

Program Description:

This appropriation funds the Public Health Traffic Safety Coordination program, a program that supports research on bicycle-related injures, collects emergency room data on injuries, and provides grants for child safety-seat education programs.

Recommended Action:

This program should be eliminated.  Private associations, researchers, families and media sources can provide sufficient information about injury data and safety-seat requirements.  Savings: $650,000.

Program: Smoking prevention program

Appropriation:

Federal Funds:

$1,738,500

 

Special Revenue Funds:

$1,906,200

 

GF/GP:

$1,900,000

 

Total:

$5,544,700[48]

Program Description:

This appropriation funds the Smoking Prevention program, a program that provides money for contracts for smoking prevention programs and projects; for enforcing clean indoor-air laws; for an anti-tobacco media campaign; and for anti-smoking materials to school districts.

Recommended Action:

Funding for this item should be eliminated.  Smoking is a voluntary and legal activity whose risks are widely publicized and whose benefits are perceived differently by each person.  Even if the anti-smoking efforts of the state were effective, government should not be in the business of operating prevention programs.  Private institutions exist for this very purpose and would continue to do so if the government removed itself from this arena. 

As for educational campaigns, Michigan schools are struggling to carry out their core academic functions; they should be freed of requirements such as the conduct of anti-smoking campaigns.  Savings: $5,544,700.

Program: Violence prevention

Appropriation:

All from Federal Funds:

$1,446,900

 

Total:

$1,446,900[49]

Program Description:

This appropriation funds the violence prevention program.  This program helps establish and support regional coalitions to prevent violence; helps develop programs to identify victims of abuse; helps conduct educational and media campaigns about violence; funds rape prevention programs; and funds domestic violence programs in schools.

Recommended Action:

These activities can be carried out through individuals and families acting in conjunction with private, voluntary organizations such as religious organizations and other nonprofits. The funding for this program could be eliminated.  Savings: $1,446,900.