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Viagra for Sex Offenders? Not a Happy Thought

In what may be the weirdest news of the day, Roll Call’s John Stanton brings us the story that bears the headline, “CRS: Health Law May Allow Viagra Coverage for Sex Offenders”.

Read the full story after the jump…


By John Stanton
Roll Call Staff
April 7, 2010, 12:42 p.m.

The Congressional Research Service confirmed in a memo Wednesday that rapists and sex offenders may get federally subsidized Viagra and other sexual performance enhancing drugs under the recently passed health care reform law — information that Republicans charge will haunt Democrats in upcoming elections.

“Providing child molesters with taxpayer-funded Viagra shows the folly of government-run health care. Senators who allowed this to happen will be haunted by this vote for years to come,” said John Hart, a spokesman for Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). Coburn, who requested the CRS review of the health care reforms, sought to add last-minute changes to the health care reconciliation bill that would prohibit sex offenders from receiving drugs such as Viagra under the health care law. However, that amendment was defeated during the Senate’s vote-a-rama.

According to the CRS, under existing rules there are no prohibitions against providing erectile dysfunction drugs to rapists, pedophiles or other types of sex offenders.

The new law does “not appear to prohibit a qualified health plan in a health insurance exchange from providing coverage for drugs prescribed to treat ED for a non-incarcerated beneficiary who was previously convicted of rape, child molestation, or another sex offense” the CRS said in its memo, dated April 2 but released Wednesday. The report also said that “a convicted rapist, child molester, or other sex offender who is not incarcerated would not appear to be excluded from enrolling in a qualified health plan offered through an American Health Benefit Exchange in their state solely because of that conviction.”

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