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Dec 1, 2022

In the opening scene to the classic film, “Animal House,” two young freshmen walk by the statue of Emil Faber, the founder of the fictitious Faber College. The quote on the statue’s plaque was simple: “Knowledge is good.” 

Generally, we can all agree with that profound statement, can’t we? If so, it is “good” to know that Indiana ranks 48th in the nation on public health funding. 

Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Public Health Commission released its extensive final report in August of this year, confirming plenty of details that were generally already known. But as is often the case with fact-gathering entities like this one, the public often looks at the sweeping document in hopes of establishing the smallest of conclusions. Yes, only two states rank lower than Indiana in funding public health. 

Some conservatives could claim that having our government spend less than others is something to tout. Yes, I can hear them now. Even I am reluctant to assume that it is fundamentally bad to spend less on any governmentally-based

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program or initiative. Measuring ourselves this way is often meaningless. Sadly, that is not the case this time.

While our funding rankings certainly seem bad by themselves, the result is even worse. 

Indiana is an unhealthy state. Like Emil Faber’s singular statement, it is a simple conclusion with profound meaning and consequences.