I have stated many times that I do not like the idea of forcing welfare and other government assistance recipients to take drug tests, but that doesn’t usually matter because I end up hearing from politicians, pundits, and regular-every-day-people that welfare recipients are screwing over the system and are always on drugs or doing something amoral or illegal. Even though studies have been done and have shown that these accusations are just not as big of a deal as some people seem to make them out to be, people continue to promote this idea. I have always felt that it is annoying that people who are in the lowest segment of society are treated like common criminals, while other members of society are treated like they could do no wrong.
When a story came out this week that 91 people (from medical and mental health professions) in 8 cities were arrested for carrying out almost $300 million in Medicare fraud, I almost felt vindicated. This fraud victimizes not only the American taxpayers, but the people who are on Medicare. People who have legitimate, even respected, jobs have been accused of defrauding the government out of money. The weird thing is that this doesn’t seem to cause some kind of massive outrage among people who are often quick to judge the poor, elderly, and infirm of being guilty of what is basically the same crime. I guess it is only a serious crime when those evil poor folks are taking the money out of the nice money-making peoples’ pockets.
So, it doesn’t matter that so many people in the system are not breaking the law. It doesn’t matter that in some cases they have never done drugs or lied to the government to receive assistance. And it doesn’t matter that people who would be considered above reproach may actually be the bad guys that many people so often say that they hate.