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March 2013 Policy Study, Number 13-3


Just Say NO – and Keep Saying NO – to Federal Health Care Exchanges and Medicaid Expansion


Healthiest State Initiative



In response to reports of rampant obesity and increases in a variety of chronic health conditions, primarily diabetes, throughout Iowa, Governor Branstad has implemented the “Healthiest State” initiative. This program is based loosely on the “Blue Zone Project.”


The Blue Zone Project offers guidelines for healthier living based on the behaviors of the “world’s longest-living communities.” These include things such as more daily exercise, having a purpose for your life, reducing stress, being a healthful weight, eating a wide variety of foods including more vegetables, drinking a glass of wine each day, having positive people around you, belonging to a support community, and putting your family first.[63]


The five key, practical, implemental priorities of the Healthiest State initiative are:


1. decreasing the number of Iowans who smoke,


2. increasing visits to the dentist,


3. increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables,


4. increasing individual lifetime learning habits, and


5. improving job satisfaction through positive workplace management.[64]


Smoking has been shown to result in increased poor health, as has a lack of dental care. More fruits and vegetables and less sugar will help us all to lose weight. And lifetime learning coupled with positive work environments will help productivity and the economy.


On a long-term basis these goals should help Iowans to be healthier, and potentially reduce medical costs. We can all do these things without Obamacare and without a government bureaucracy overseeing our every action.




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