The idea of drug testing people who received government assistance is a controversial issue facing many states and now a U.S. Congresswoman is proposing a bill that would drug test the rich if they want to continue to receive tax deductions.
U.S. Representative Gwen Moore from Wisconsin joins The Doctors to discuss her proposed bill, which she calls the 1% Accountability Act. She explains that individuals who list itemized tax deductions of $150,000 or more would be would be subject to drug testing and would be required to submit a clean drug test within 3 months of filing their income tax returns. According to the Congresswoman, the bill would only affect people making over $500,000 a year.
“I’m sick and tired of [some lawmakers] criminalizing the poor,” she says, explaining that many states have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars drug testing people who receive government assistance, and according to the Congresswoman, drug use is lower among people in the lower income brackets. Congresswoman Moore is introducing the bill to highlight the problems that are occurring in the 15 states that require drug testing to receive federal assistance benefits.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon points out that drug use and drug addiction cross all socioeconomic lines. ER physician Dr. Travis Stork notes that drug testing is wrought with problems like inconsistencies and false positives. Dr. Ordon would like to see the money spent on testing be used on treatment for people who voluntarily come forward and ask for help.
The Doctors stress that drug addiction is not a choice, but rather a disease and often people develop addictions because of prescribed drugs from doctors. They stress the need to eliminate the link between addiction and someone needing government assistance.
Where do you stand on the issue of drug testing those needing government assistance and those seeking tax breaks?