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Taxpayers Paid $240 Million For Male Enhancement Over The Past Decade

December 12, 2011 by  

Taxpayers Paid $240 Million For Male Enhancement Over The Past Decade

Data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) indicates that Medicare has spent more than $240 million of taxpayer money on penis pumps for elderly men over the past decade.

According to Heartlander, between 2001 and 2010 the amount of taxpayer money used by Medicaid to provide “Male Vacuum Erection Systems” to elderly men quadrupled.  In 2001 taxpayers footed the bill for about $11 million toward the purchase of the devices, the number jumped to $47 million in 2010.

Because of the sharp increase in the amount Medicare spends on the devices, many people have raised concerns about fraud. In September, an Illinois man was found guilty of collecting more than $2 million from Medicare in a fraudulent operation that involved repackaging $26 items he bought from adult websites and selling them to seniors as medical devices. He charged Medicare $284 each for the devices.

Because of questions of whether the technology even serves a medical need and the opportunity for fraud, John Nothdurft, director of government relations for The Heartland Institute, questions whether it is prudent for Medicare to pay for the devices.

“At a time when the federal government borrows 43 cents of every dollar it spends, do we really need to be spending money on this? I doubt you need a ‘Super Committee’ to realize that this is the epitome of wasteful spending,” he said.

According to a 2011 report, Medicare spending is expected to grow from 3.6 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 to roughly 10.7 percent of GDP by 2085.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • s c

    This sounds like another typical example of government gone mad. Is the government now in the business of sexual enhancement? Is there no oversight in the way taxpayer dollars spent? Are pumps now supposed to supposed to help because there are no other options?
    It sounds like a perverse way for government to get support and easy votes via bread, circuses and penis pumps. What’s next? Will we see cosmetic surgery and sexual reassignment procedures doled out like commodities?
    Somebody apply the brakes, and make Uncle Scam trying to be all things to all people. This is the same old fart who refuses to have a budget, can’t get enough money fast enough [even with a printing press run 24/7], hands out entitlements like they’re rights earned at birth and legislators who are ‘pig sty happy’ to praise government while they refuse to make government efficient or responsible.
    Maybe it’s time for Uncle Scam to be neutered or put on a very short leash.

  • Karolyn

    Not surprising in a male-dominated society that men would receive help from the government to have sex.

    • Sirian

      This is of no great surprise really. There are tons of other idiotic areas of Medicare/Medicaid Services that are being used too. Penis Pumps – what a joke! The damn things provide no more sexual assistance for older men than about three minutes worth, if they’re lucky. Give it time Karolyn, more than likely breast enhancement (implants), liposuction for bellies and thighs, face lifts and who knows what else will make the “allowable list”. Have you seen how much is being spent by women on such procedures nowadays? Its amazing how much people spend, on both sides, mail dominated or not, to “look sexy”. . . :) Politicians will go to any lengths – no pun intended – to gather in votes. Isn’t it obvious?

      • CP

        Sirian, in many cases these pumps DO do what is needed to actually have full blown intercourse rather than just a lot of teasing and playing. They aren’t effective for everyone, just as no medicine is effective, or safe, for all people. Still, when both parties want something more, this is one of the few ways they might be able to get there.

    • Jolene

      …find something else to cut darling, you are to young to understand

      • Karolyn

        Are you talking to me? You are obviously new here. I’m 65!

    • jimmy the greek

      Woman don’t need help !

    • bus

      I thank you and my wife really thanks you.

    • http://naver samurai

      We have more important things to worry about then if someone can rise to the occaision or not. Enough said. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

  • CanCan

    I’m sorry, and how is it that such sexual enhancements are suddenly such a health necessity, that I as a taxpayer am forced to pay for this? It is bad enough I have to pay for Viagra prescriptions without adding this to the list of taxpayer insults. The idea of cutting-or eliminating-Medicare and Medicaid altogether-sounds awfully good, especially if all the Feds are going to do is waste my hard-earned dollar for crap like this. These two government programmes are insolvent, and they are paying for sex enhancements. In the end, I am not too surprised.

  • Rational

    I thought the point of the story was “fraud” by businesmen. Maybe that part is hitting too close to home?
    Let’s hope you don’t have a medical issue like this. I’m not a fan of what is being done, but health includes something other than bypass surgery and pills.

  • CP

    Well, CanCan, or more likely, can’tcan’t, you don’t have to worry about paying for viagra, as it is NOT a medicare covered prescription. All too often, the people wanting a bit of help getting things up can’t do viagra or the other drugs in that catagory, so the pump is the only thing left for them to try. Granted, you can go to most sex shops and buy one for twenty dollars or a bit more, depending on how fancy a piece of equipment you want, but these are the people who don’t frequent such places. Also, you may ask what part the female side of the equation is playing in these requests, as some of the ladies do prefer more than manual or oral attentions. If there was an effective choice, I am sure these gentlemen would be seeking and buying it.

    • Robert Smith

      Actually Viagra is covered, CP.

      “The FDA has approved Viagra only to treat erectile dysfunction in men. Viagra does not fall within any of the allowable exclusions or restrictions listed in section 1927(d)(2), and section 1927(d)(3)”

      Here is where I found that: “

      Fortunately: “Family Planning Services – This program pays for counseling, diagnosis, treatment, and birth control drugs and supplies prescribed or furnished by a physician.”

      That’s from:

      In a religion that states: “Go forth and multiply” wouldn’t it be a perversion not to consider sexual health?


      • http://naver samurai

        Whatever happened to you and your government should stay out of people’s bedrooms? We have more important things to worry about. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

      • s c

        r, you have confused Old Testament laws with the New Testament. To do that, you have to believe that a) both apply at the same time (they don’t), or b) you obviously don’t know squat about the Bible. Both, perhaps?
        It’s one thing to claim that you ‘know,’ but it’s another to know things in their proper context. The Old Testament is ‘passed away.’ The New Testament replaces the Old Testament. The New Testament applies to here and now.

  • dick klein

    Today, everything is a medical necessity. I am nearly 80 years old and would prefer if the Gov’t would pay a bit more for my heart and prostate cancer medications and leave pumps at the gas station.

  • eddie47d

    Hooray for older men who want more out of life but go do it on your own dime. Sex is a luxury even for younger folks too at least the fear of becoming pregnant. Buy a condom on your own dime and take some personal responsibility for them. When it comes to older folks who says the government is responsible for your sexual happiness? We all get a little frustrated as we get older and even getting out of bed can be a chore on some days.Learn to accept it and find ways to improve your mobility including that middle appendage that some men think with. I hope vibrators aren’t on the Medicare list for the ladies of the house or will that in in tomorrows article?

  • DumbStruck

    This just shows the stupidity of those who make decisions regarding healthcare. Sorry, but if you can’t get it up, don’t get the rest of us down and broke financially because of the costs you impose on a healthcare system that is going broke and now declining needed and necessary healthcare.

    • hitthedeck

      We government needs take a drug to soften up the pricks that has been screwing us for years.

      • karel Eekels

        You speak my language my friend!

  • jopa

    If it costs only twenty bucks a pop to put some smiles on the face of an elderly couple why not.Bring the troops home and the money at over one million dollars each for a smart bomb could buy many a pump.Make love not war.Too many warmongers in this country.It is great as the article noted that the present administration is cracking down on Medicare fraud.

    • http://naver samurai

      Bring the troops home yes, but don’t use the money for this crap. Can’t get it up? Oh well. Learn to play with the hand you are dealt. This admin cracking down on medicare fraud? Ha, ha, ha, ha! Where? When? Tell that to the people of Indiana that had $4 billion dollars in medicare/medicaid payments stipped by Obama bin Laden when we defunded unplanned parenthood. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

  • Overviewer

    Hello. Am I the only one that noticed that the headline says $240 BILLION but the text says $240 MILLION? Well which is it PLD? I suspect it is the latter.

    • Overviewer

      Well, I guess someone read my comment. The headline just changed to
      $240 Million from $240 Billion.

  • RichardS

    Gee, only 240 Million… and how much did you pay irslast year Jopa? Governments: Right to life, liberty and a hard penis (the pursuit of nearly universal happiness in both men and women) The best part of this story was the capitalist who bought off adult websites at wholesale and marked the stuff up and sold it to our clueless govt’ bureaucrats who as usual… “were only trying to help”. The guys a winner in my book.

    • hitthedeck

      WOW-Thats almost as much as Doggy toys.

  • hitthedeck

    I didn’t realize it cost that much in hard times to stay on top!

  • JB

    Our gov’t at work – - – ! ! ! ! ! !
    Elections are coming & intelligent voters establish term limits! !
    Incumbent, arrogant, self-serving, incompetent, inept “legislators” all need to be replaced – - They just don’t know right from wrong anymore.

  • stacy

    Really doesn’t surprise me….men who can’t take care of themselves and won’t. ‘Nuf said.

  • E.W.

    I’m angry. Medicare won’t pay for Lamosil (paint on medication for toenail fungus)stating it’s cosmetic, but will pay for penis enhancements? How is that justified?

  • jopa

    Samurai:Medicare fraud When, Where?Don’t you read the articles posted on PLD or do you just go straight to the comments and start mouthing off and start name calling.Read the article a little more slowly if you have read it before it may help, or have someone explain what is being said.


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