Friday, May 6, 2011

Whiz Quiz: Which gov is making the poor pay for their own drug tests?

Slick Rick, aka 4/20 foe
You guessed it: Florida Gov. Slick Rick Scott.

He's getting ready to sign a measure that will require poor people to pay for their own drug testing.

HR 353 requires adult recipients of federal benefits under the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families to program to pay about $35 for the drug test. The screen is for all controlled substances and people would need to disclose all prescription medications they are on.

Recipients who fail the drug test will lose their welfare benefits for a year. If they fail a second time, they lose their benefits for three years. If they fail the drug test, they foot the bill for it because it makes sense to charge already poor people for their own humiliating pee tests.

If they have children, they must designate another adult to receive benefits on behalf of the kids, but that adult also has to be screened. It’s all about the kids, right?

The drug testing companies stand to profit, companies like Solantic, Scott’s chain of health clinics that he recently transferred into his wife’s name to supposedly avoid conflict of interest as governor. Scott has a long history of looting the health care system, having been part of the largest Medicare fraud case in U.S. history. That resulted in $1.7 billion in criminal and civil fines.

If a poor person does have a substance abuse problem and wants to get help, the measure provides no money for treatment. Lovely.