Editor’s note: The following letter is in response to Frank Morelli’s letter “Drug Testing Law Makes Perfect Sense,” published last week.
Separating politics, self service and old-fashioned greed is a daunting task, but in this case, it’s made simpler by history and facts. While some conservatives appear clueless, let’s shine a light on some glossed-over, if not totally ignored details.
First, “Scott’s law” has a very interesting background: Gov. Rick Scott was the head guy at a privately held healthcare corporation that violated Medicare rules in a way that was so egregious that this healthcare corporation received the highest fine in history — over $1 billion! It should [be noted], in the interest of fairness, that Rick Scott had left the corporation before legal proceedings began, albeit a short period before the gavel fell, and second, and this is important, was the fact that our now chief executive began his own drug testing firm, which would fit neatly with his new law proposal.
The discovery by the media and general “stirring” among interested groups prevailed and Mr. Scott sold his interest in the drug-testing firm, which still has the contract. What is of particular interest is that in view of the national average among welfare recipients at about 2 percent who fail drug testing, with Florida finding similar results, it brings into question whether the costs associated with the program are commensurate with any savings in welfare benefits. Importantly, if only about 2 percent are required to pay for failed drug screening, who pays for the other 98 percent? If you answered that the Florida taxpayers pay, you would be right, but either way, the drug-testing company gets paid.
And all this time, I was being told by conservatives that they believe in smaller government and screaming that we need to get government out of our lives. But I guess that’s only true if no money is to be made.
Richard Nielsen, Royal Palm Beach