Back in May, Rick Scott signed a bill into law requiring “all adult recipients of federal cash benefits” to take a drug test prior to receiving said benefits. The new law wasn’t a shock to anybody that followed Scott’s gubernatorial campaign closely, even though a similar law had already been ruled unconstitutional. Of course, as Rachel Maddow noted, the math just didn’t make sense. When asked to defend the new law, Rick Scott has repeatedly said the policy was, “the right thing for taxpayers.”
Well Rick, if that’s true, I think now would be a great time to start looking for some new advisers…
The ACLU and others predicted this program would be a failure and cost the state of Florida much more money than they would save. Guess what? In just the few weeks that the program has been in effect we have been proven right.
The Department of Children and Families’ central region has tested 40 applicants since the law went into effect six weeks ago, and of those 40 applicants, 38 testednegative for drugs. The cost to the state of Florida to reimburse those 38 individuals who tested negative was at least $1,140 over the course of six weeks. Meanwhile, denying benefits to the two applicants who tested positive will save Florida less than $240 a month.
The ironic thing is that Florida should know better. They ran a similar pilot program a decade ago but ended up scrapping it because it cost the state way more money than it saved.
Last year, political neophyte Rick Scott spent $73 million of his own money to bring the tea party’s anti-government, pro-privatization agenda to the Florida governor’s office. Today, the former executive pays just $30 a month for health care—and lets taxpayers cover the rest…
Scott and his dependents pay one-fifth what a janitor in the state Capitol pays for health insurance… and less than 3 percent of what a retired state trooper pays for life-saving coverage.