Program: Dental programs

Appropriation:

Federal Funds:

$110,400

Special Revenue Funds:

$150,000

GF/GP:

$225,000

Total:

$485,400

Program Description:

This appropriation funds dental programs that provide money to pay for dental services for the uninsured (including those who do not qualify for Medicaid) who cannot get "dental services due to mental or physical handicap or visual impairment." [12]

Recommended Action:

This program should be eliminated. Statewide, dentists generously work pro bono for low-income and uninsured patients. For example, in Ypsilanti, Mich., the Hope Medical Clinic, Inc. provides volunteer dental work four days weekly and maintains a network of dentists willing to provide specialty services — such as oral surgery — free of charge. The national group, Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped, maintains a list of private and government-subsidized "Donated Dental Services" providers for every state in the nation. This organization alone maintains a list of 642 Michigan dentists who volunteer their services individually, and in conjunction with private or government agencies. In cities across Michigan, local religious and charity groups such as the United Way and Red Cross often maintain a referral service of dentists (among other professionals) willing to provide free services to needy clients or directly subsidize dental work.

Many other dentists simply offer free services without fanfare from their own offices. According to the 1997 Survey of Current Issues in Dentistry, 60.7 percent of American dentists provide some type of charitable (free or reduced cost) dental care through their primary practices. The majority of their charitable work goes to the low-income, and to handicapped individuals, but it also serves poor migrant workers, people who are homebound, institutionalized, or suffering from Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. The average value of donated care per dentist surveyed in 1997 was over $10,000. During the same year dentists also provide reduced-price services depending on a patients’ ability to pay. Overall, these professionals treated an average 42 patients each, free-of-charge, and provided reduced cost services to an additional 103. [13]

Institutions of civil society, such as family members, religious groups, civic clubs and others who generously donate their time and skills could do more if government worked to avoid crowding them out with well-intentioned but unnecessary programs. Every dollar that is taken from communities and run through distant bureaucracies is a dollar that cannot be used to help people privately and through voluntary efforts. Savings: $485,400. Governor Granholm’s 2005 proposal leaves this appropriation unchanged over the previous year’s budget.

Program: Dental program for persons with developmental disabilities

Appropriation:

All from GF/GP:

$151,000

Total:

$151,000

Program Description:

This appropriation funds the Dental Program for Persons with Developmental Disabilities. This program is similar to the one listed above, though it is dedicated solely to the category of "developmental disabilities."

Recommended Action:

This program could be eliminated. As with the program described directly above, groups and individuals already work to provide dental services to special needs clients who do not have insurance. Savings: $151,000. Governor Granholm’s 2005 proposal leaves this appropriation unchanged over the previous year’s budget.

Program: Family planning local agreements

Appropriation:

Federal Funds

$9,885,800

Special Revenue Funds

$634,600

GF/GP

$797,700

Total:

$11,318,100

Program Description:

This appropriation funds the Family Planning Local Agreements program. This program provides grant support to health departments across Michigan for, among other things, family planning.

Recommended Action:

This program should be eliminated. Family planning assistance is performed by private, nonprofit groups across the country without the aid of state subsidies. Savings: $11,318,100. Governor Granholm’s 2005 proposal increases the gross appropriation to $12,270,300.

Program: Migrant healthcare

Appropriation:

Federal Funds:

$63,900

GF/GP:

$136,100

Total:

$200,000

Program Description:

This appropriation funds grants for local areas with high migrant populations, to provide healthcare, immunization outreach, and other services.

Recommended Action:

This program should be eliminated. Migrant workers are an important part of the Michigan economy, especially its agricultural sector. They come to Michigan because they perceive that the economic opportunities here are greater than elsewhere. State government should not distort these incentives by subsidizing the healthcare of these workers. Institutions of civil society exist to address all types of social ills, including those that effect migrants. Note: For more on the subject of migrant workers in Michigan see page 7. Savings: $200,000. Governor Granholm’s 2005 proposal increases the gross appropriation to $272,200.

Program: Pregnancy prevention program

Appropriation:

Federal Funds:

$812,800

GF/GP:

$5,033,300

Total:

$5,846,100

Program Description:

This appropriation funds the Pregnancy Prevention Program, a program which supports grants to local agencies, including health departments, to provide family planning services.

Recommended Action:

This program should be eliminated. While unplanned pregnancies can pose significant challenges to both the child and the family, family planning assistance is performed by private, nonprofit groups across the country without the aid of state subsidies. The state should not interfere in family planning. Savings: $5,846,100. Governor Granholm’s 2005 proposal leaves this appropriation unchanged over the previous year’s budget.

Program: Sudden infant death syndrome program

Appropriation:

Federal Funds:

$221,300

GF/GP:

$100,000

Total:

$321,300

Program Description:

This appropriation funds the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome program. This program provides for grief counseling and follow-up services for families who have lost a child to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It also provides funding for public education and reporting.

Recommended Action:

This funding should be eliminated. Each incident of SIDS is a tragedy for the family involved, but grief counseling and public education need not be a function of government. Extended families, religious organizations, the paid and unpaid services from professional counselors, and nonprofit groups can all work to raise awareness of SIDS and help families who have been grieved by it. Savings: $321,300. Governor Granholm’s 2005 proposal leaves this appropriation unchanged over the previous year’s budget.