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Health, Medicine, Nursing
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Drug Testing of Public Assistance Recipients (Term Paper Sample)


The tasks was to confirm whether Drug Testing of Public Assistance Recipients was efficient or not.This sample shows why this is not efficient due to the different costs linked to it


Drug Testing of Public Assistance Recipients
Date of Submission:
Drug Testing of Public Assistance Recipients
Public assistance benefits, programs and service include money, food stamps, food, clothing, commodities, shelter, utilities payments, materials, drugs and medicines, services and good , counseling, training and rehabilitation instructions that are accorded to public assistance recipients. The Public assistance recipients are any persons that receive the above public assistance in any manner. The main reasons why most of these recipients receive assistance are because they lack the resources necessary for providing the basic necessities linked to the above benefits, are unable to access employment to be able to cater for their basic needs because of one reason or the other as well as are disabled, aged or sick such that they are unable to access ways in which they can acquire the needed resources to meet their basic needs. These recipients are inclusive of the unemployed, those taking care of dependent children, the disabled, the poor, the aged as well as those lacking social security.
In US, 29 states had at least proposed some form of legislation that requires screening or drug testing of the public assistance recipients by April 2013. To date only eight states have passed such legislation that requires the screening or drug testing for the public assistance recipients that apply for the Temporary Assistance of Needy Families (TANF). These states include Arizona, Utah, Florida, Tennessee, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Georgia. This legislature has sparked considerable debate with the proponents asserting that it will deter from the welfare money being used to support recurring drug addiction problems as well as enhancing the saving of taxpayers’ money. Conversely, the opponents of the same assert that it translates to moral and monetary costs. While the assertions of the proponents are not backed with enough evidence, those of the opponents are supported with considerable evidence.
Evidence from Florida, Louisiana and Utah indicate that rather than saving the taxpayers’ money, the drug testing resulted into more costs rather than savings. Research indicates that the application of this legislation in Florida from 1999 to 2001 and the reintroduction of the same in 2011 yielded more costs for the State, as compared to what was saved. This is because the recipients are required to pay for their individual drug tests and those that turn negative are reimbursed the amount they paid. The results of the testing during this period revealed that 96% of those tested turned negative, 2% did not bother to complete the application process and only 2.6 % turned positive (Whittenburg, 2011). The percentage of those whose tests results turned positive was three times less that the estimated number of Floridians that utilize illegal drugs because they are estimated at 8.13%. Calculating the cost of the testing using the base of an average cost of $30 for each test shows that Florida was using between $28,800-$43,200 taxpayers money every month for the testing. The above amount exceeds any amount of savings that they could make by preventing drug-abusers from accessing the same taxpayers’ money.
The same case happened in Utah this year because only 12 positive results were yielded, indicating that the state lost a lot of money reimbursing the affected recipients. In Louisiana, the costs of testing 20% recipients as well as the treatment of the 2% whose results turned positive was estimated at $92,487, while the expected savings from terminating the recipients that turned to be drug abusers were set at $31,248. This clearly indicates that the net loss that the state would experience from the same would be $61,239 (Singal, 2012). As such, rather than becoming cost efficient, the testing is more expensive and the net loss resulting from it deems it unnecessary. Additionally, the recipients that are terminated from the benefits can name a payee that will continue to receive the benefits on behalf of their children, therefore, reducing the savings that are linked to the legislation. This is because the same amount of benefits will still be disseminated to the public.
This legislature is also linked to a variety of moral costs. The first moral cost is linked to asking people who can ill afford to cater for their basic needs, to pay for their own drug tests. The reasons why the same people applied for the public assistance benefits is because they lack the needed resources to cater for their individual basic needs and those of their families. Requiring them to pay a test they can ill afford, as a prerequisite of them accessing the needed assistance is morally wrong and might culminate to the branding of the State as a moral oppressor (Singal, 2012). While the federal and state governments contribute to the public assistance benefits programs, most of the contributions originate from charities as well as other non-profit organization. Such organizations and charities might withdraw their assistance due to the negative branding of the states.
The second moral cost encompasse...
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