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Snyder calls health care in Michigan "a broken system"

Gov. Rick Snyder wants people to adopt healthier lifestyles  

Snyder says people need to take more responsibility for their own health if Michigan is going to reverse some dismal trends and save money on health care. That was part of a health care message he delivered at a Grand Rapids clinic.

Snyder says too many Michiganders smoke, are overweight, and don’t exercise.

Michigan ranks 10th in the country in people who are overweight or obese. Nearly two in 10 people still smoke.

"We have a crisis in our country and our state on health care. We’re not doing well."

The governor says Michigan needs to address a physician shortage and improve infant mortality rates in urban areas. He wants to update insurance rules and the public health code.

"We have a broken system."

He says unhealthy lifestyles are piling additional costs onto an already-expensive health care system.

"As a practical matter, we’re not healthy when you look at our general population.  We’re not only not healthy, but we’re one of the highest-cost environments in the world. And that combination doesn’t work, and we need to do something about it."

The governor wants the Legislature to adopt many of his health reform ideas including some controversial insurance mandates by Thanksgiving.

In particular, the governor says a statewide health care exchange can be a useful tool for people and businesses shopping for insurance.

"It’s got to be something focused on customer service -- accountable, reliable, transparent and expedient in terms of making a better marketplace in a way that people can understand their health care insurance choices, their options, the availability of things and an easier way to buy and shop."

Many Republicans oppose the law and resist enacting any of the federal mandates before the U.S. Supreme Court rules on them.

The governor says that will put Michigan behind other states if all or part of the law is upheld.

The governor called for an overhaul of Michigan’s insurance regulations and public health code, and he wants to require insurance companies to cover autism treatments for children.

The governor says state government cannot force people to adopt healthy lifestyles, so the governor says he will lead by example: He set a goal of dropping 10 pounds by the end of the year.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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