Our governments continue wasting more tax payers dollars when nearly every state in the union is bankrupt, our federal government bankrupt and downgraded, costly wars, etc and we advocate for more cost, more government power, and more pervasive personal invasion? State studies by MO, PA, ID, KY and FL (Florida taxpayers expected cost is more than $3.5 million) have been performed and well reported. All claim screening actually costs the state more money than it would save by paying out less in program benefits.
A major reason for drug testing is the ever increasing $2 Billion+ extremely profitable drug testing market. We have storefront labs on every corner nationwide pushing their drug testing services. Doctors receiving kickbacks/consulting fees, well paid lobbyists spending millions of dollars, so their benefactors can capture yet more government mandated revenue. These "health" providers consistently experience record profits, with the help from our legislatures. The average cost for urine test is around $50 (blood and hair cost substantially more), the welfare recipient does not have to pay for this we taxpayers do. Many experts claim near 30% of positive tests are actually false positives. Lawsuits will be filed against false positives and taxpayers will be forced to the rescue again. Constituationally argued privacy lawsuits against these measures have already been filed and won -- taxpayers paid again.
The system does not work, all you have to do is look at MI, where they implemented mandatory testing in three welfare offices. Out of 258 new and continuing applicants tested, 21 tested positive (8% - the national general population rate is 9.3%) for illicit substances. All but three of these women tested positive for marijuana only. And after these non violent potheads test positive do we have to incarcerate them at $50k/year, put their kids in foster care, steal their already miniscule assests, pay for and use more public resources (public defenders/prosecutors,/judical), etc for breaking the law? MI realized their program did not work and ended it. If we accept the idea that drugs cause harm than we must also accept that obesity causes harm and therefore regulate that bad behavior in the same manner.
We might be trying to do the right thing, unfortunately, the primary target of harm reduction, already disadvantaged children, becomes the primary recipient of increased harm from the moral hazards the regulation creates. As Patriotic Americans we should procede with caution and look deeper before we rush to enact oppressive laws. Creating more harm in already challenged lives, is negative in the short and long term for the US as a whole. These regulations hurt low-income children, won't help addicts kick the habit, and are unintentionally uncompassionate.
Furthermore, what these laws do, is give into the unfortunate stereotype that feeds the ugly legitimacy that all welfare recipients are a bunch of drug abusing addicts, yet only 8% of welfare recipients tested positive and 9.3% of the general public samples are positive. This view has become more prevalent in the past few decades and promotes severe division within this great country. These laws not only cost money and harm children, worse they incrementally steal our freedoms and move freedom of choice to the government from the people. Ultimately, support of these laws paves the way for simlar laws using other issues like obesity. To ensure our freedom we should be vigilant in trusting the people and be weary of the government, our founding fathers warned us about this. Incremently these "bad behavior" regulations steal our liberty while creating moral hazard harms for all.