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Tuesday - May 30, 2017 9:07 am

Drug testing those receiving public health coverage a bad idea

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It is unnecessary, unproductive, and likely unconstitutional. The Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee has endorsed Governor Walker’s idea to drug test those who receive public medical benefits. That is now a provision of Walker’s budget which the full legislature will vote on this summer. If approved, Wisconsin would become the first state in the nation to require those receiving public health coverage to be tested for drugs. It would be easy to suggest those receiving public benefits shouldn’t be using drugs. Of course they shouldn’t. But testing for drug use is expensive. And the record shows drug screening those receiving public benefits is rarely productive. For example, those enrolled in Wisconsin’s W-2 program are already screened for drug use. The results suggest a lower drug usage rate than the general population, with only one half of one percent of those tested turning up positive test results. That isn’t providing much bang for our buck, given the pricetag. This idea would be a waste of money, costing more than it would save. Perhaps that is the reason no other states have chosen to go down this punitive road.

Last modified on Tuesday - May 30, 2017 9:09 am
Scott Robert Shaw

Scott Robert Shaw is the Program Director for both 1410 WIZM and 580 WKTY.   He's currently the morning news anchor on 1410 WIZM, Z93 and 95-7 The Rock.  He joined Mid-West Family Broadcasting as a reporter/anchor in 1989 and served as News Director from 1990-2015.   He's been the winner of several Wisconsin Broadcaster's Association awards for Best Editorial in Wisconsin.  He enjoys traveling, bicycling and cooking.

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