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Posted by on Feb 1, 2005 in At TMV | 0 comments



If your prescription drug costs make you wither, this may straighten you out:

WASHINGTON — Sexual performance drugs such as Viagra will be covered in Medicare’s new prescription drug program, a lifestyle rather than lifesaving benefit that conservatives and watchdog groups say the government shouldn’t provide.

Like those for maladies such as high blood pressure and heart disease, prescriptions for Viagra and similar drugs in its class will be tightly controlled. The new prescription coverage begins next Jan. 1 and is expected to cost more than $500 billion over the next decade.

"The law says if it’s an FDA-approved drug and it is medically necessary, it has to be covered," said Gary Karr, spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers the health insurance program for older Americans.

Pfizer’s Viagra, Bayer’s Levitra and Eli Lilly & Co.’s Cialis are used primarily to treat erectile dysfunction. Viagra might also prove useful in treating enlarged hearts that can result from high blood pressure.

Some conservatives and public watchdogs say Medicare coverage of sexual performance drugs could bankrupt the program.

"Asking Uncle Sam to pay for or the romance of 76 million baby boomers will quicken the impending collapse of Medicare," said Tom Schatz, president of a taxpayer watchdog group, Citizens Against Government Waste.

They should stop dickering. But we digress:

"These bureaucrats defend the additional drugs as ‘lifestyle-improving’ instead of ‘just lifesaving,’ but tax-funded Viagra will drain resources from medication for more severe conditions," Schatz said.

Yes, but many voters will have a lot more FUN with Viagra….