Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Why, of course I support nationalized health care...

... because who else but a government agency is going to give Viagra to convicted sexual predators on parole?
Medicaid is providing Viagra to nearly 200 of the state's worst sexual predators, under a federal program that has outraged local lawmakers, according to a new government report.

Among those receiving Medicaid-reimbursed Viagra after being convicted of a sexual crime was a fiend who preyed on a 2-year-old, and a criminal who attacked a 90-year-old woman, the report says.

"The whole purpose of Viagra is to increase sexual performance, is to increase libido, is to increase blood flow, to increase the capacity of the user of the medication to perform sexually," said state Comptroller Alan Hevesi, whose office released the study...

Those receiving the drug have been convicted of everything from first-degree rape to sexual touching, and are Level 3 offenders who, under state criminal guidelines, are those deemed most likely to commit crimes again.

During a review of Medicaid pharmacy spending, Hevesi's auditors matched Viagra recipients with the names of Level 3 offenders on the Internet and discovered that some were receiving the prescription drug and were being reimbursed by Medicaid for the expense.

The review did not include the names of Level 1 and Level 2 offenders, whose names are not required to be listed on the Internet.

It is just mind-boggling to think that Level 3 sexual offenders can get Viagra, which may indeed help them perpetrate other horrible crimes," said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)

"And what we know about Level 3 offenders is this: They almost never change. They're almost never rehabilitated."

Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro said she has prosecuted sex offenders who used Viagra before preying on their victims.

"That Medicaid would pay for this is an outrage," Pirro said...

Hevesi has asked Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt to change federal distribution policies of the drug.

In 1998, the department informed states that Medicaid programs covering prescription drugs must also cover Viagra when medically necessary, or face financial sanctions.
[NY Post]
Let's extend this quality management to the entire health care system as soon as possible!