A Big-Government Republican Governor?

Posted by | September 22, 2011 16:44 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

It’s not often I find myself outflanked to the left by one of the new Republican Governors.  But Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has accomplished something I thought impossible.  He recently proposed recording the body-mass index (BMI) of children in Michigan.

I have also directed the MDCH to incorporate information about BMI in the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR), which tracks childhood immunization records. This rule change will allow a health care provider to report height and weight measurements on MCIR. The goal is to increase obesity screening rates and improve treatment of childhood obesity, which is significantly under-diagnosed in children. This will improve the quality of care by highlighting the need for an annual screening of BMI, which correlates with future obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. Determining BMI is an important first step in managing pediatric obesity. Although the proposed rule would apply only to persons under the age of 18, I will support expanding MCIR to apply to persons of all ages, which would give all Michiganders greater awareness of and control over the state of their own health.

I certainly support the recording of immunizations since there are public health consequences to others if you do not get immunized from communicable diseases.  But BMI?  Not sure what Governor Snyder is hoping to accomplish there.  One thing he has accomplished, he won’t have me calling him “too conservative” for a while.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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