Florida’s controversial new program to drug test welfare recipients isn’t exactly catching droves of addicts. So far only 2% of those tests have come up positive, the Tampa Tribune reports, with 96% testing clean and 2% declining to complete the application process. That rate of failure may still be enough to save Florida a tiny bit of money, but it undermines Gov. Rick Scott's argument that welfare recipients are more likely to use illegal drugs.
Applicants must pay for their own drug tests, but Florida will have to reimburse everyone who tested drug-free. At least 1,000 applicants have taken the test since the program started July 1; at least 1,500 are expected to take it each month. At this rate, that will amount to $28,800 to $43,200 in reimbursements a month. Each rejected applicant will save the state $134 per month, but since a single failed test disqualifies someone from a year’s worth of benefits, the state could come out ever-so-slightly ahead—if 20 to 30 people keep testing positive each month, and if the costs of administering the program don’t wipe out any savings.