Cast of 1970s Television Show, Nanny and the Professor
Maybe Sarah Palin is the Nanny and Mike Huckabee the Professor

Michelle Malkin named Mike Huckabee one of her 10 biggest nanny-staters.  Here is part of what she said about Huckabee (emphasis mine):

Nanny State Republican Mike Huckabee, who used his bully pulpit position as Arkansas governor to campaign for Big Government-endorsed “healthier living” in public schools and private life, naturally sided with Mrs. Obama — and took a swipe at Sarah Palin last week for criticizing the White House usurpation of parental responsibility and rights. Huckabee scoffed at the idea that the feds are “trying to force the government’s desires on people.” But school bake sales are already under siege, and Mrs. Obama’s childhood obesity task force has already called for new and dramatic controls on the marketing of unhealthy foods. Did Huckabee miss (or does he agree with) Mrs. Obama’s officious rallying cry on child nutrition: “We can’t just leave it up to parents”?

If Malkin wants governors to mind their own business when it comes to school lunches, she needs to add former Governor Sarah Palin, and Texas Governor Rick Perry to her list of nannies.

After the 2008 election, but before she resigned in 2009 and Michelle Obama’s intitiatives had begun, Palin implemented and promoted “healthier living” programs in her state. 

Below is an excerpt  of those (all italics below are mine):

No. 08-194
Governor Palin Announces Health Priorities
December 4, 2008, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sarah Palin today announced her goals to improve Alaska’s health and education through fiscal year 2010 budget requests, the formation of a health care commission, support for legislation and an informational campaign to help Alaskans take better care of their own health. 

She also increased funding for Denali KidCare (Alaska version of SChip) and raised the eligibility threshold to 200% of the federal poverty level (the federal government only required funding for up to 150%, Palin had earlier raised it to 175%).   She did this to maintain federal funding and “said that the state could have lost $3 million in federal funding if its income threshold fell below 150% of the current poverty level (Kizzia, Anchorage Daily News, 5/16).

Governor Huckabee on the other hand, resisted federal mandates(!) with his ARKids First alternate plan called “Arkid B”.   Surely how politicians actually governed is more important than statements about President Obama’s wife, Michelle.  Here is one example of Huckabee’s stand for state rights:

The B waiver program requires a “small” copayment and offers fewer services than the traditional Medicaid program. Proponents of the B plan say free coverage under the traditional A program carries a “stigma” that not all families want to subject themselves to.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Huckabee has wanted to allow parents of Medicaid-eligible children to choose between the two programs. Huckabee added that some “prideful” parents would prefer to enroll their children in ARKids B because they “want to contribute to their children’s health coverage” through the copayments.

A Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report noted, “Despite the Clinton administration’s order to place all Medicaid-eligible children into ARKids A, Huckabee resisted ‘in the hopes that Bush would be elected.’” After daring the Clinton administration to pull his state’s federal funding for not following the order, Huckabee said he thought the Bush administration, with Tommy Thompson as HHS secretary, would allow Arkansas to manage the programs as it saw fit.

At the same time Governor Palin was promoting her increases in funding, she also created a new health care commission, increased “state funding to reverse childhood obesity and improve diagnosis of autism, and increased funding for Alaska’s Head Start preschool programs”.[1]

And she did this “for the children” (which we conservatives are all want to mock when it comes from the left):   Palin said “Children are the most valuable resource in Alaska…We have to do more to support health coverage and health care, because it plays such a big role in a child’s success in school, and in life. Our state agencies are partnering to better equip Alaskans to lead healthier lives and to meet health care needs across the state.”   Notice that Palin’s reasons are the same ones Malkin criticized in Huckabee:  Poor health’s impact on School and Life.

She also decided to “develop a statewide initiative called Live Well Alaska. The interactive web-based campaign will provide the best recommendations for eating healthier, being more physically active and quitting tobacco use.”  Perhaps she was copying Mike Huckabee’s program called Healthy Arkansas.

Palin also spent “$2 million for the Department of Education to implement a pilot preschool program. School districts would receive the funding through grants. The half-day preschools would serve up to 500 children statewide.”

I don’t want to be misunderstood.  I think that, generally speaking, both the Federal Government and state governments should stay out of the health care business.  But this is yet another example of hypocritical anger by Malkin who nitpicks Huckabee on things her own pet candidates have supported. 

Cross posted at Race42012.


[1] She increased “funding for Head Start preschool programs by $800,000. The additional funds will allow the program to serve 60 to 80 more children. Approximately 1,000 Alaska children remain on waiting lists for Head Start. This funding is in addition to $600,000 in increased funding that Head Start received last fiscal year.”

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