Governor Releases Plan for Healthier Michigan

  Read the Governors Health Speech HERE.

On Wednesday in Grand Rapids the Governor released his plan for improving the health and wellness of Michigan residents.

The Governor pointed out that:

  • Good health allows children to thrive and learn, it readies graduates for meaningful careers and it permits our current work force to grow and adapt to a dynamic economy.
  • Healthier residents also strengthen families and communities.
  • The governor emphasized that every Michigander has a role to play in improving health and wellness. While medical advances can address many problems, all Michiganders have the power to improve their own health. This is critical because many of the chronic conditions we face, from diabetes to coronary heart disease, are greatly influenced by our lifestyle choices.

“By embracing positive habits such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting an annual checkup and not using tobacco, we can significantly improve our health,” Snyder said. “Committing to these lifestyle choices is good for us as individuals and good for us as a state. When it comes to health and wellness, we can and we must do better.”

Other proposals include:

  • Developing strategies to address Michigan’s current and anticipated shortages in the health care sectors. The state could face a shortage of anywhere between 16,000 and 24,000 physicians by 2020.
  • Reviewing the 30-year-old statute under which Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan operates to make sure it is up to date.
  • Achieving better coordination between the federal Medicare and state Medicaid programs on behalf of the more than 205,000 residents who are dually eligible for both programs.
  • Aggressively dealing with the challenges posed by autism, a pervasive developmental disorder that affects one out of every 110 children born today. To date, 27 states have changed their laws to require insurers to cover evidence-based therapies for autism that will save taxpayers billions of dollars.
  • Pursuing additional Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) for Michigan. FQHCs are federally funded community organizations that offer care to people of all ages, regardless of their ability to pay. Only 29 of the total 1,048 FQHCs are in Michigan.
  • Helping Michigan veterans access their benefits. Only 19 percent of Michigan veterans use their U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health care benefits compared to their counterparts in other states who use theirs at rates closer to 25 percent.
  • Giving the Michigan Department of Natural Resources the authority to require that all state-owned and operated beaches be smoke-free. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death, killing 14,419 Michiganders in 2009. It also costs the state more than $3.4 billion a year in health care costs.
  • Encouraging policymakers to include the expansion of the successful Healthy Kids Dental program as a priority item during the fiscal year 2013 budget cycle.
  • Incorporating Body Mass Index (BMI) information in the Michigan Care Improvement Registry, which tracks childhood immunization records. This will increase obesity screening rates and improve treatment of childhood obesity.
  • Working with Michigan’s farmers to alleviate the state’s obesity problem.
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