Florida’s Republican governor has a creative way to demoralize and demonize public sector workers: mandatory drug testing for all state employees who answer to the governor and all prospective hires for executive branch agencies.
Scott recently transferred a controlling interest in his multi-million-dollar chain of walk-in clinics to a trust controlled by his wife.
It turns out that Solantic, which is now effectively the governor’s wife’s company, does a brisk business in drug testing:
One of the more popular services at Solantic, the urgent care chain co-founded by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, is drug testing, according to Solantic CEO Karen Bowling.
Given Solantic’s role in that marketplace, critics are again asking whether Scott’s policy initiatives – this time, requiring drug testing of state employees and welfare recipients – are designed to benefit Scott’s bottom line. [Palm Beach Post]
Solantic charges $35 per test. As the Palm Beach Post points out, its main customers are people who want to get privately tested first to make sure they’ll pass some other drug test. So, Solantic stands to make a lot of money off a dramatic uptick in testing, even if it doesn’t get any state contracts.
Scott’s executive order will require all executive branch employees to be tested at least quarterly. Scott also supports legislation currently percolating through the state house and state senate that would force anyone seeking temporary cash assistance (aka “welfare”) to undergo regular drug testing at their own expense.
As you will recall, Rick Scott has accepted responsibility for the massive, and criminal, Medicare fraud perpetrated on his watch at another health care company.
[Photo credit: schnuth, Creative Commons.]