I am a Democrat. And I will say, I really really dislike having Rick Scott at Governor. I will never ever vote for him, no matter what he does. Why? Because he is an actual criminal. In my opinion, he is definitely guilty of health care fraud, and while he somehow escaped corrective actions, it does not mean that he did not participate in criminal activity.
BUT and it is a big but. I really think it is FINE to test those who want to receive benefits from my tax dollars for drugs. I have always been drug tested for jobs, and as a condition of my employment, I pretty much have to submit to a test any time there is something that warrants it. (like say lots of narcotics go missing during a shift.) If such a person fails, and the benefits were for children, the person can then designate someone else to receive benefits for the children.
I really do not think that it violates any 4th amendment rights, as people in general do not have a right to have public assistance without having to qualify. It is not like the Food Stamp or TANF people come banging down your door and catheterize everyone for urine. Now that would be a real invasion of privacy.
It has also been argued that this is some subtle form of class-ism. Perhaps so. Many people say that this law assumes drug use among welfare recipients. I wholly believe the majority of recipients are not drug users, but as noted in this article apparently 10-20% of welfare recipients were discovered to have drug and alcohol problems, while the general population stood at 6%. So…while the difference is not statistically that huge, it would appear that possibly use of drugs and alcohol are one factor for SOME people to be needing welfare.
So, oddly, as a liberal person I applaud this decision. I am also biased because I see tons and tons of recipients in the Emergency Department. On a daily basis I meet women with 40 dollar manicures, I-Phones, packs of cigarettes, who state that they are unable to “get tylenol for my baby”. It is one of the most irritating things I deal with. And I get that this has to do with a culture of materialism, and people making poor judgements, becoming parents too early etc. It is a complex world.
Sometimes I think we get really bogged down in the reasons why people are the way they are. When in fact, at some point, we all have to accept that we have all experienced flawed childhoods, tragic sad experiences and huge disappointments in life, and thus even with all that, it is still not acceptable to just do whatever you feel and expect the rest of the world to take care of you.
I’m unsure this will actually work. There is such a thing as getting clean, taking a test and going right back to drug use. Recipients are not going to be doing monthly samples, so it’s sort of more of a statement that a total prevention of the behavior. It may make it essentially a bit more difficult to obtain assistance, if one uses illicit drugs, but otherwise, I don’t think it will really reduce the need for welfare, or reduce drug use. And there is the sticky wicket. Will this actually help do either of these things? I really doubt it. I think people will still need TANF and I think that they will find ways to beat the test fairy easily.
There is a ton of welfare fraud that occurs that really has nothing to do with drug use. The Guvner’s owning of Solantic, a walk-in clinic that does indeed offer drug testing, makes me feel uncomfortable, as this looks a bit like some of his old actions.
Because right now, even though I think drug testing is a good idea, the only winner in this it would seem is the companies that make the testing kits…..
A lot to think on. And maybe not the clearest post I have ever written. Blame it on recent surgery!