Required Drug Testing for Welfare in Florida

Seth wrote:

Now it's a casino. Put $35 in, see if you win!

It's a drug test. You either pass or you're high.

Win-win!

How the f*ck can you demand $35 upfront from people that are in a situation that desperate?

And then NOT reimbursing them if they fail? What a f*cking _racket_. That means the testing company has every reason to fail as many as possible, because that means more tests and more profit.

And the governor owns the testing company.

While I agree 100% with your BS assessment, (I can't remember the last time I had to pay for an employer screening drug test, either.), I think you went the wrong way with the bias:

Applicant pays 35$ up front to drug testing facility
They test positive (Sorry, too many bagels.)
They don't get reimbursed.

Applicant pays 35$ up front to drug testing facility
They test negative.
They get benefit+35$

So the drug testing company sees no additional revenue from failed tests. (Reapplications aside. Anyone know what the process would be for retesting, and costs involved?)

So still BS, just no real incentive change.

Yes they will, because the applicants will be forced to keep trying if they want to get on welfare. Particularly if they know they're innocent, a laboratory mistake means they get to run another test.

It's not like anyone will pay attention to their complaints -- it's just poor people, after all.

Don't we have something called the presumption of innocence in this country?

Hmm, a fundie logic flaw here:

Step 1. Have no money? Get on welfare and get government money.
Step 2. To get welfare, pony up $35.

So to get the welfare, I need to have $35 to blow on drug test, but to get the $35, I need the welfare.

In my city, spending frugally, I can feed a family of 3 (two parents, one kid) on 35 dollars, for a week. A family of four would cost about 42 dollars.

I'm stacking the deck in my favor here -- this doesn't include infants (free on mother's milk) or middle schoolers (eat their body weight daily).

But yeah -- that's a frighteningly high bar to GET MONEY YOU NEED.

I'm wondering if a $35 (minimum) welfare application fee isn't most of the point for the people that wrote this up.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/ulvsz.jpg)

Tanglebones wrote:

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But obviously these people only passed because they are gaming the system. If we continue to implement more drug testing, we'll catch more of them.

Tanglebones wrote:

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/ulvsz.jpg)

Now that's the kind of stimulus plan conservatives can get behind!

Tanglebones wrote:

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It's the principle! It has nothing to do with saving money, it is making sure that we punish evil-doers; ever hear of the War on Drugs? Now it has 60,000 more victory points.

Am I missing something? It seems that if 2% saves the state $60K, that even if they eliminated 100%, it could still only save the state $3 million dollars.
These numbers don't make sense to me.

Jayhawker wrote:

Am I missing something? It seems that if 2% saves the state $60K, that even if they eliminated 100%, it could still only save the state $3 million dollars.
These numbers don't make sense to me.

Yeah, I noticed that too. Something has to be off on those numbers. It costs the state $1.78 million to test 1% of the recipients. They save $30,000 for each 1% that fail the test. Either the data is wrong or some people in the government can't do math (or they can and liked the numbers they got.)

Edit: Ah. That numbers are wrong. $178 million is the amount the state predicted that it would pay to welfare recipients. This site has a good write up on the costs.

Curse you, pithy but incorrect images I got from twitter!

Well, it lacks a source for its numbers. We have no idea where the author got his facts.

If the recipients pass the test, the state reimburses them for the cost of taking the test. If the recipients fail the test, the state doesn't pay them back.

What is the false positive rate for these drug tests?

CheezePavilion wrote:

Now that's the kind of stimulus plan conservatives can get behind!

Think of all the drug testing related jobs this law has created.

So 2% of Florida's welfare recipients use drugs while the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Survey on Drug Use and Health survey found that 22 million Americans (about 7% of the population) used drugs at least once per month. So much for the standard conservative spiel that everyone on welfare is a drug user...

No, its not about saving money.
It is about paying to make sure the "lazy" poor get no hand outs. The $178 million is well worth it for the intimidation factor.

Its about marginalizing and demonizing the poor.

We were on welfare when I was a kid. We were far more concerned with things like food and clothing to worry about drugs.

These idiots act like they hand out welfare in $20 bills.......................

OG_slinger wrote:

So 2% of Florida's welfare recipients use drugs while the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Survey on Drug Use and Health survey found that 22 million Americans (about 7% of the population) used drugs at least once per month. So much for the standard conservative spiel that everyone on welfare is a drug user...

Watch those statistics, buddy! Don't forget that 2% also declined to take the test, and I think that means we can safely assume they were DRUG USERS too!!! So when you add those 2 percents together... oh, I guess that is still less than 7%. Never mind.