Mandatory Drug Testing For Welfare Recipients Essay

1341 Words 6 Pages
The process of drug testing individuals who are applying or receiving welfare benefits has recently become the focus of a widely spread controversy. Florida, the first state to pass the law, now requires all individuals applying for public assistance to undergo drug testing. The state of Kentucky, among others, have considered following this trend. State lawmakers hope to prevent the squandering of taxpayer dollars on drugs by proposing similar guidelines. Alabama’s states representative Kerry Rich clearly affirmed his state’s position on the matter, “I don’t think the taxpayers should have to help fund somebody’s drug habit” (qtd. in Time).

A decision to implement mandatory drug testing may be an imperative step for preventing welfare
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Many question this policy. Worrying, the majority of people who are applying for state benefits may not have the ability to cover the upfront expense. Therefore, needy families would go without food.
While there are many benefits to passing this law, we must consider the other possible problems and solutions as well. Selling food stamps for drugs is not the sole issue at hand. Welfare abuse comes in many forms. Until recent changes in identification verification practices by physicians and medical centers, Medicaid fraud was also an ongoing issue. People without medical coverage would often borrow the medical card of a friend or family member, and then go to a doctor or dentist. In other words, it was not diligent auditors or highly mandated policies that reduced Medicaid fraud. In fact, the meticulous works of insurance companies are responsible. Today, physician offices place a patient’s photograph in the chart. Verifying the patient’s identity helps certify insurance claims are filed on behalf of the actual member. As a result, the state’s Medicaid program benefited from this much-needed change.
The more widely recognized form of welfare abuse, practiced for decades, occurs when people sell food stamps for cash. In the eighties food stamps were in the form of coupons and assigned a monetary value. It was