Gov. Paul LePage’s plan to use money from the Fund for a Healthy Maine to fill the hole in the Department of Health and Human Services budget is a big mistake.

These funds are used for critical health promotion programs that help Mainers reduce tobacco use, increase physical activity and improve nutrition. Such activities not only keep us healthy, they also save money and improve the economy.

Research shows that Maine saves more than $7 for every $1 spent on prevention efforts.

When people are healthy, kids do better in school, workers are more productive, and businesses can add jobs because health costs are lower.

It’s more important than ever that we continue to use our public health funds for their intended purpose: promoting good health and preventing costly disease.

Dismantling our public health system for a short-term budget fix is selling out our children’s future. We need to find better solutions to our current budget challenges.

Mark Griswold

Hallowell