Monday, December 31, 2012

Let there be drug testing — for all

Posted By on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 7:21 AM

Hah. I've already made this suggestion for Arkansas, where Republicans are slavering to emulate other Republican-controlled legislatures and institute drug-testing for welfare moochers.

From Huffington Post:

A Republican member of the Indiana General Assembly withdrew his bill to create a pilot program for drug testing welfare applicants Friday after one of his Democratic colleagues amended the measure to require drug testing for lawmakers.

"There was an amendment offered today that required drug testing for legislators as well and it passed, which led me to have to then withdraw the bill," said Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville), sponsor of the original welfare drug testing bill.

The Supreme Court ruled drug testing for political candidates unconstitutional in 1997, striking down a Georgia law. McMillin said he withdrew his bill so he could reintroduce it on Monday with a lawmaker drug testing provision that would pass constitutional muster.

"I've only withdrawn it temporarily," he told HuffPost, stressing he carefully crafted his original bill so that it could survive a legal challenge. Last year a federal judge, citing the Constitution's ban on unreasonable search and seizure, struck down a Florida law that required blanket drug testing of everyone who applied for welfare.

McMillin's bill would overcome constitutional problems, he said, by setting up a tiered screening scheme in which people can opt-out of random testing. Those who decline random tests would only be screened if they arouse "reasonable suspicion," either by their demeanor, by being convicted of a crime, or by missing appointments required by the welfare office.

Drug-testing is an empty gimmick, more beat-up-on-the-poor demagoguery from a party that never tires of the ploy. Drug testing of welfare recipients cost more money than it saved in Florida, as has been widely noted. In Arkansas, Republicans are covering by saying they intend to use drug-testing to identify people who need treatment and rehabilitation. If you think they really mean that — that they are prepared to pay the additional sums necessary in Medicaid to cover the cost of comprehensive drug rehab for all in need — I have a red-white-and-blue Broadway bridge to sell you.

The ugly truth is that the biggest welfare fraud isn't perpetrated by a poor sick person cadging some free ER treatment when he still has a few dollars in their checking account. It's perpetrated by unscrupulous health care providers, drug companies and insurers with schemes for inflating costs by the millions to enrich themselves. It is also perpetrated by unscrupulous family members who beggar the elderly by taking their assets so they may qualify for free nursing home care. And, in the drug realm, I'd be willing to bet you'd find the abuse rate as high or higher among those with the readiest access to drugs — health care professionals, such as the medical clinic director busted just the other day.

But let us not confused the faith-based Republican legislator with facts. Poor people are unworthy moochers looking for a fix or a handout. No expense or punishment is too great for them. That is all they know and all they need to know.

Search for fraud among doctors or hospitals? Search for drug abusers among legislators? These would be invasive and offensive actions against a much higher-class group of people.

Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (13)

Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • If Jason Rapert didn't exist, we'd have to invent him

    Sen. Jason "Dr. Strangelove" Rapert defends his nuclear option for dealing with Middle East terrorism. Any criticism of him is only due to liberal misrepresentation, he says, not his own plain language.
    • Feb 16, 2015
  • Father and son turned away from "Muslim-free" Hot Springs gun range for being brown

    A college student and his dad who visited a gun range over the weekend for some bonding time over target practice were told to leave after the owner grew suspicious that the pair were...Muslims! Nope, not Muslims — they just happened to not be white. Either way, though, it's rank discrimination.
    • Jan 13, 2015
  • Feel-good story of the day; a car for James Robertson

    Detroit newspaper writes story about factory worker James Robertson who walks 21 miles a day through the snow to get to and from a factory job paying $10.55 an hour. Story just about makes you cry at his work ethic. Good news should make you cry more.
    • Feb 3, 2015

Most Shared

  • Everything new is old when it comes to Arkansas education

    Depressed yet? No? Then read Ernest Dumas' prediction of what's likely to come of a new way of providing state money to higher education — money allocated on performance.
  • AAC: In the black

    The leadership of the Arkansas Arts Center announced at its annual meeting and luncheon today that it has just completed its sixth year in the black, continuing its recovery from a budget black hole created by an expensive blockbuster exhibition, "World of the Pharaohs."

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation