Thursday, May 17, 2007

Medicaid Drug Testing: A Conservative Attempt at Intimidating the Poor?

An AP story appearing in the Columbia Missourian titled Medicaid drug tests eliminated reports that a measure to randomly drug test medicaid recipients was strap due to the fact that such a message would cost the state millions in federal monies. However one must wonder why someone would want to put in a drug test in order for someone to receive medical care? Is it perhaps to intimidate those who are poor and might be struggling with drug addiction?

Besides violating the fourth amendment's protection from illegal search and seizures, it is also denying the poor the proper care they need to fight their drug abuse. Society and particularly the state need to realize that substance abuse is a medical problem and cannot be solved by cutting off their medicaid.

As a side note, the state of Missouri is projecting a 200 million dollar surplus, but instead of restoring the cuts that were made in 2005 and getting those who lost their benefits back on Medicaid, the Republicans want to cut taxes and give it to the wealthiest of Missourians. It is a shame that many Republicans in this legislature at best feel philosophically that helping the poor and disabled is not the role of government and at worst show contempt towards them.

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