Citizens Research Council of Michigan President Eric Lupher says when the state has faced tough financial times programs for public health often got cut. He says that means Michigan is now an “unhealthy state.”
The council recently issued a report on the state of public health in Michigan. Lupher says the state is doing just enough to get federal matching funding, but that federal money has been reduced.
Flint’s water crisis and the discovery of PFAS’s in several parts of the state including Parchment and Richland Township are two examples of public health crises. Lupher says it’s not possible to prevent every instance of contamination, but he says the state can have better systems to respond to public health problems.
The Citizens Research Council report calls for a “health in all policies approach.” Lupher says that would mean asking questions about how health would be affected, and ensuring that it’s part of the decision making process. Lupher says health impacts should be considered as well as dollars and cents.
Lupher says the Citizens Research Council has released the report now, hoping that it will be part of the discussion in the fall election campaign. Lupher says Michigan has many problems to address, including roads and education. But he says state leaders shouldn’t ignore public health.