Big Mother Government?

Limited government supporters criticize Snyder health care proposal

In Gov. Rick Snyder’s State-of-the-State address, he spent 90 seconds talking about building a system where government encourages residents to get an annual physical and a healthier lifestyle. That caught the attention of those who fear that state government may expand its reach into the private lives of residents.

After his Jan. 19 speech, Snyder told the Associated Press that the state could save money down the road with an upfront investment. When asked for specifics about what the system would entail, Geralyn Lasher, spokeswoman for Snyder, would only say that it would not mean a new department.

Stay Engaged

Receive our weekly emails!

“The Michigan Department of Community Health … works on health issues in the state,’’ said Lasher. “I think they can work to raise awareness and encourage our health care system and businesses regarding the significant cost savings Michigan can realize if our population takes steps to become healthier.”

Jim Lefler, member of the First Michigan Tea Party Alliance, has a simpler “tea party” obesity plan.

“Eat less. Move more,” said Lefler. “Government must stop seeing itself as the solution to every problem, even if it can fix it. There are many great ideas for solutions that simply are not the business of government. This is one way government continues to expand not only in size, but also intruding into our day to day lives.”

Lefler said the state is broke and the vast majority of government programs are not successful other than spending taxpayer money.

“It costs money to hold hearings, debate, craft legislation, institute administrative agencies, create oversight committees, develop administrative rules and regulations, defend/prosecute them in court, etc,” said Lefler. “Many private individuals and companies are engaged in weight loss programs.  It is wrong for the government to come into the marketplace to compete. This stifles innovation.”

The bigger problem is government making the health care choices for individuals, says Jack McHugh, the senior legislative analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

“Because the government has improperly intruded into your lifelong health care choices and responsibilities, it has also arrogated unto itself the mission of telling you to eat your vegetables," said McHugh. "So we get talk about 'upfront investments' to reduce government expenses down the road, and the welfare state becomes Big Mother: It's all light years away from the self-government vision of our Founders."