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.
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.”
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.