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CAGW slams Medicare coverage for impotence drugs

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 1, 2005 -- Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) rebuked the decision by Medicare officials to accept U.S. Pharmacopeia's recommendation that Viagra and other sexual performance drugs be included in the prescription drug benefit package passed by Congress last year.
"Not to stiff the elderly from having a little fun, but asking Uncle Sam to pay for the romance of 76 million baby boomers will quicken the impending collapse of Medicare," CAGW President Tom Schatz said.

With Medicare's prescription drug benefit already estimated to cost $534 billion, exceeding by a third the original amount promised by the White House and congressional leaders, the cost of healthcare for the elderly will be a crushing burden on working taxpayers. Economists with the Private Enterprise Research Center (PERC), headed by Thomas Saving, one of Medicare's trustees, have hinted that Medicare's true deficit looms at $62 trillion.

"Despite the program's financial mayhem, policymakers have been extending Medicare coverage for medical conditions that do not necessitate federal assistance," Schatz continued. "Also, men between the ages of 40 to 60 are the prime market for Viagra; the federal health insurance program is meant for the elderly and the disabled."

Source: Citizens Against Government Waste

Posted: February 2005