So how much money did Florida’s drug testing of welfare recipients save taxpayers?

Remember how conservatives in Florida touted drug testing of welfare recipients in that state as a sure-fire way to save taxpayers bucketloads of money?

Yeah, not so much.

Net savings to the state: $3,400 to $5,000 annually on one month’s worth of rejected applicants. Over 12 months, the money saved on all rejected applicants would add up to $40,800 to $60,000 for a program that state analysts have predicted will cost $178 million this fiscal year.



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11 thoughts on “So how much money did Florida’s drug testing of welfare recipients save taxpayers?

  1. It’s not about saving money, it’s about humiliating the poor… and hence a raging success.

  2. So Nikki, I assume you enjoy paying your hard earned tax dollars to crack heads with no jobs and people having kids just so they can get a state check? They do exist. This obviously isn’t a success but they successfully removed people milking the system to feed their heroin habit. I assume you buy all your non-working smoking friends cartons of cigarettes each month too? A hospital drug test (I administer them so I know) costs $42 each. This article is saying a total of 178 million was wasted… So over 4 million people are on Welfare in Florida? I think not. Don’t trust everything you see on tv, unless you can find me a talking backpack and mailbox.

    1. the republicans dont want abortions or to pay for abortion pills, they love welfare babies . the max welfare cash in florida is $335. for family of 3. .positive drug testing on welfare people throws them on the streets leads to crime, crime leads to jail and jails cost $75,000 a year per inmate, not to mention hospital bills

    2. I have a much bigger problem with rick scott profiting off costing tax payers 178 million dollars which proved to cost even more than that. This article is from 2012, it has cost tax payers 100’s of millions of dollars so scott can profit off his company that supplies the tests and his labs that analyze the test.

  3. Fredrick,
    A.) most people will fail for weed, not crack.
    B.) doesn’t really eliminate the problem, someone can stop doing drugs for 30 days, then get tested, beat the test, and celebrate with a nice binge from a welfare check.
    or C.) have a non user in their family apply for the welfare.
    Alternative Scenario: They randomly drug test, and do it several times.

    So 6 drug tests a year x 4,000 welfare applicants in florida x 42 = _____________. do that math. Meanwhile, that taxpayer money could go to education – to help keep people off welfare in the first place, drug rehab programs, and drug education programs to help and or stop people from using drugs in the first place.

    Meanwhile you weeded out 100 or so people who used drugs. and I’ll shoot high and say 50 were for “hard” drugs. Now this next part isn’t an argument, but think 50 people not on welfare, on hard drugs, with no money, no food, no job prospects, what do they do to get money, they either beg, or take a hands on approach and steal.

    I wouldn’t punish and humiliate the many for the actions of the few. Just like I wouldn’t ban alcohol because some people drive drunk, nor would I ban guns because some people shoot up my block.

    Now some might say i’m a wild liberal, actually an independent, don’t know who i’m voting for yet. But at a time of an economic depression, I’d say we can tackle the moral issue of using drugs later, and put Americans back to work first. This isn’t doing either, but spending more money, and call me crazy but 13 trillion dollar debt and growing everyday seems like it might be a problem sooner than later. So while the money issue might not seem like an issue to you, it is to me. So for those who feel its a moral responsibility to weed out a very small percentage of drug users from welfare, can volunteer to use their own money for these tests, but leave my wallet out of it.

    Maybe at a time of economic prosperity, and booming jobs, and a low rate of unemployment can we think morally about drug users on our welfare, but right now, i’d rather not have broke states borrowing more money from the federal government, and thus from me, to initiate these tests. I’d say we have bigger problems at hand.

  4. drug testing on welfare recepiants is nonsense . the average family of 4 gets $592.00 cash a month about $125,00 a week they are not living in a middleclass neighborhood they re living in the ghetto they dont shop at publix they shop at their local bodega (no transportation) now lets drug test them and they show positive for pot take away their welfare and they are forced into the streets to commit crimes jail taxpayers cost $75.000 a year, hospitalization due to hazard on the streets about $20.000 so we turned $7.000 of taxpayers money a year into $95.000 of taxpayers money a year . real smart.

  5. PDF]
    The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant …
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    by G Falk – 2011 – Cited by 1 – Related articles
    Though TANF is best known for funding cash welfare payments for needy …. TANF Cash Benefits: How Much Does a Family Receive in TANF Cash Per Month?………. ….. Florida. 241. 19.8. 303. 19.9. Georgia. 235. 19.4. 280. 18.4. Hawaii. 506 …

    1. So you idiots are saying, we should give them money, although they can afford to purchase drugs. You state if we dont give them this money, they will turn to crime, they will choose to have there drugs and commit crimes rather than be clean and get help… So you say lets just pay them so they wont commit crimes. Its a no brainer, times are hard for our entire economy, so cuts must be made, on all ends. The use and possesion of drugs is against the law. so law breakers are included in the goverment cuts, and citizens who really do need help, who dont waste money on drugs, still get help. I just cant see what is wrong with that. I dont pay people to not do crime, I pay to put people away who do commit crimes. Something about paying to have criminals locked up doesnt bother me, the thought of giving criminals money to support there drug habbit really bothers me. Hell whats next I think the wellfare system should buy me a new car, or I might go steal one…..

  6. How come nobody has mentioned the cost to house them, keep them warm, pay their water bill, etc.? They don’t ONLY receive cash assistance and food stamps. & Let’s not forget Medicaid! Good Lord, where I work, welfare recipients abuse the Healthcare system so badly, it makes my stomach literally sick. They come in anywhere from once a month to 2 or 3 times a WEEK!!! I work in an ER! A large number of people do NOT need emergency medical attention 2 or 3 times a week! The MINIMUM bill they will receive is $200-500 for ONE visit. Yeah, that comes out of YOUR paycheck. & Don’t forget, they get cell phones now too.

    They come in to be registered for something they don’t want to wait for at the Doctor’s office, or worse, wait for an appointment. They have the latest fashion clothes, nice hair, nails & jewelry. They whip out their food stamp & cash assistance cards while looking for their medical card. They were there just two days earlier and say, “The Doctor doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I ain’t gettin’ no better. He gave me a prescription for something I don’t need, cuz I ain’t gettin’ no better. I know my body.” Crap like that, while our veterans and current soldiers alike receive the CRAPPIEST healthcare from VA Hospitals. They wait forever for an appointment and they have legitimate issues, not some simple cold that will go away on its own in 7-10 days. & They FOUGHT for our country!!! They put their lives on the line LITERALLY and get treated worse than welfare recipients.

    The welfare system should be used as a spring board, not a lifestyle. & Don’t get me started on Social Security Disability.

      1. Indicative of most of the welfare recipients that I encounter, yes. Read my statement about lifestyle. Those that use it as a spring board are using it correctly. The majority of the people that I have come across see it as a lifestyle. They flaunt it. I’m not exaggerating and I’m not trying to be mean, but if you saw the abuse that I see day in and day out, you might get a little perturbed too.

        Did you know that people are able to become “disabled” because of stress now? Did you know it took my father 3 years to be approved for disability, only to die 8 months later!?!? & He paid into it his ENTIRE life. It’s because of the people that are able-bodied and not mentally ill that ruin it for the people that truly need it.

        Yes, I may have come across a bit strong, but it’s only because I see the abuse all the time. I cannot tell you how many women come into the ER just to get that letter for welfare that proves they are pregnant so they can make more money. We have people come in to get STD-checked on a Friday night to make sure they’re clean, so they can go out and “party” on our dime. People come in for cold sores. People come in for mosquito bites. It’s insane why people go to the ER. They are repeat offenders too, because it doesn’t cost them anything. Even if they had to pay the $3 co-pay that they’re supposed to pay, I bet it would curb their visits a bit, but it’s not enforced.

        Shall I go on? How about the drug seekers? Yep, the majority of our patients that seek drugs are also on welfare. Isn’t that where this blog started? We had a major shakedown here in our neck of the woods and they couldn’t get their drugs off the street anymore. So, all the local emergency rooms got hit like a plague. Guess who had to pay for that? We pay either way. I just vented.

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