Michigan Lawmakers Want to Reward Healthy Lifestyles

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State Senate Republicans are renewing efforts to reward people for exercising and not smoking, a move they say will drive down health care costs.

Legislation unveiled by state Senator Tom George would charge Medicaid patients less for services if they exercise regularly and don't smoke, and give state contracting preferences to businesses that have employee wellness programs.

Other bills would add the use of tobacco as a factor in setting health insurance premiums and require elementary schools to offer physical education for 30 minutes at least two days a week.

George, a practicing doctor from Portage, says unhealthy behaviors are known to account for 25 percent of health care costs.