DiSanto bill to require drug testing for welfare recipients may extend to elderly & disabled children.

In the story I just did on this, a commenter made note of something which I hadn’t picked up on in relating the prior story:

….An 86 year old applying for Medicaid (cash assistance) would be subject to drug testing?….. This would cover public assistance and that is Medicaid which many residents of nursing homes need because they can’t afford the monthly $7,500.00+ bill.

Read that comment here.

What?  That caught my attention, and had me going back to the recorded section of the original story which I’ll transcribe:

“The bill is asking for people who will be receiving welfare through the state of South Dakota should be required to submit to a drug test that will ensure (unintelligible) that those who are applying for welfare are not going to be utilizing that money they’re receiving from the taxpayers for their drug addiction or abuse.”

Listen to that here.

I was wondering when the comment was left if that would apply to Medicaid, and in re-listening, Rep. DiSanto seemed to paint “welfare” with a pretty broad brush. And the commenter’s scenario doesn’t seem too far off the mark.In fact, it seems too close to home.

And that’s where the measure being proposed moves from something to contemplate into the realm of being offensive. Because saying “Welfare” is a very, very broad term that applies to a lot of people.

Currently, there are programs under the Department of Social Services for things such as Medicaid for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD), Medicaid for Individuals in Assisted Living Facilities, Nursing Facilities or Homes, and Quadriplegics who receive Special Services in their Home who would appear to be required to pay for drug testing prior to receiving Medicaid under the broad definition expressed in the interview.  Despite the fact that there’s not a lot of quadriplegics who are snorting cocaine, or people in assisted living who are cooking meth in their bathroom sinks.

And that’s just getting started. Because it addresses nothing with children yet.

Children relieving benefits through the South Dakota Children’s Health Insurance Program are going to require that crack test first before their benefits are paid. Same goes for children with Down Syndrome, or children such as my daughter with Autism Spectrum Disorder who is Medicaid eligible as a result of being born with a disability will have to line up to pee in a cup to make sure they’re not in the alley shooting up heroin at recess.

Depending on his this bill is written, the smart move may be to withdraw it before it ever sees it’s first vote. Unless the sponsors feel the need to campaign on the need to drug test a lot of seniors, children, and the disabled.

19 Replies to “DiSanto bill to require drug testing for welfare recipients may extend to elderly & disabled children.”

  1. Anonymous

    –And the commenter’s scenario doesn’t seem too far off the mark.In fact, it seems too close to home.

    The commenter is wrong and intentionally so.

    Medicaid is NOT cash assistance.

    This proposal (as described) only applies to CASH assistance such as TANF.

    –Children relieving benefits through the South Dakota Children’s Health Insurance Program are going to require that crack test first before their benefits are paid. Same goes for children with Down Syndrome, or children such as my daughter with Autism Spectrum Disorder who is Medicaid eligible as a result of being born with a disability will have to line up to pee in a cup to make sure they’re not in the alley shooting up heroin at recess.

    Absolute hysterical nonsense.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      DiSanto didn’t say anything about TANF. The commenter is only wrong in your opinion which isn’t worth much, Andy.

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      “The bill is asking for people who will be receiving welfare through the state of South Dakota should be required to submit to a drug test …”

      That’s what she said! Nothing about TANF. Imagine, elderly folks required to submit to drug tests to receive aid so they can continue living. Now that is nonsense. Hysterically so!

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Here’s the title of her 2014 bill:

    Title
    Provide for drug testing for certain TANF recipients.

    How about we get the facts before flying off the handles with THE CHILDREN, just think of THE CHILDREN FOR GOD’S SAKE rants?

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    This brings to mind the old adage, the juice is isn’t worth the squeeze. States that have implemented drug testing have found the incidence of positive test results are so minimal that the effect is negligible. This is more of publicity stunt than anything else. Those that are subject to drug testing for employment purposes are not forced to bear the costs of the test, why should poor folks have to pay?

    Reply
  4. El Rayo X

    This bill should be amended to include all elected officials who draw money from the state, county, city or school board. If I were getting government money, I would submit to a urine test…as long as a politician held the cup. My aim is true…most of the time.

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    I think mandatory is crazy and other states that have tried this have already proven the cost of the program far exceeds the benefit. What I do think is worth trying is random testing of a defined group. I don’t worry so much about pot and other street drugs but Meth is everywhere and it’s pretty cheap in comparison to street drugs. On that note, with proposed Medicaid expansion and current benefits, I don’t believe the state has the legal authority to test the tribes which unfortunately is where we have the highest drug usage.
    I think with everything you are always going to have some waste but you need a proper cost benefit.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      –I think mandatory is crazy and other states that have tried this have already proven the cost of the program far exceeds the benefit.

      You’re wrong.

      Utah has spent about $30,000 on testing, saving $350,000 in the process.

      Yeah, you’re crazy.

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        You should try doing a little research crazy person.
        Universally the 8 states that have implemented this have come up with around 2-3% of recipients as failing (compared to 6-8% in the general population) which in some cases leads to them getting kicked off or in Utahs case requiring them to enroll in drug treatment programs.
        Since you like to use Utah they only test people who score high in their screening process of potential users as having to submit. Around 250 refused which people are making the assumption that they use so they treat that as fact and do the math. The 12 in Utah who did test positive are not only getting benefits but are in state treatment program. Its like saying cheese is round and so is the moon therefore the moon must be made of cheese!
        Go out and read the results of the studies and get back to us.

        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          What, the person accusing others of being crazy cooked the books on the Utah experience? I’m shocked! Should have figured that when the name calling started.

          Reply
        2. Anonymous

          I note that none of the financial figures was contested.

          Utah saved $350,00 while spending $30,000 on the testing. And yes, 12 people in Utah failed the drugs tests, yet $350,000 was saved.

          I suppose saving $350,000 is just plain crazy.

          Reply
  6. Anonymous

    I’ve been waiting for PP to correct his “concerns” for they are based on little more than hysteria.

    Medicaid, Medicare, nursing home payments, and on and on ARE NOT CASH payments that would be covered by DiSanto’s proposal.

    Such payments are not made TO the beneficiaries–they’re made to the provider (dr., hospitals, nursing homes)

    You’re simply wrong, misguided, and hysterical PP.

    “Cash payments” are those made DIRECTLY to the beneficiaries such as TANF.

    Much ado about nothing.

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    Headline: DiSanto bill to require drug testing for welfare recipients may extend to elderly & disabled children.

    May? Or may not?

    Gee, sure would be nice if “journalists” would do just a bit of research before going off on a hysterical rant about a proposal that “may” throw grandma over the cliff.

    Or may not…so what’s the point again?

    Reply
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