Penis Pumps Cost US Government $172 Million — Watchdog Cries Waste

Tuesday, 14 Jan 2014 10:57 AM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Penis pumps cost the U.S. government's Medicare program $172 million between 2006 and 2011, about twice as much as the consumer would have paid at the retail level, according to a government watchdog's report released on Monday.

The report by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services said Medicare, the government health insurance system for seniors, paid nearly 474,000 claims for vacuum erection systems, or VES, totaling about $172.4 million from 2006 to 2011. Yearly claims for the devices nearly doubled from $20.6 million in 2006 to $38.6 million in 2011.

According to the Mayo Clinic, penis pumps are one of a few treatment options for erectile dysfunction.

Government waste is a major issue in budget talks in the U.S. capital as lawmakers try to reach agreement on a $1 trillion spending bill.

"Medicare payment amounts for VES remain grossly excessive compared with the amounts that non-Medicare payers pay," said the report, dated December 2013. "Medicare currently pays suppliers more than twice as much for VES as the Department of Veterans Affairs and consumers over the Internet pay for these types of devices."

If Medicare had adjusted its payments to approximately the price non-Medicare payers pay, the U.S. government would have saved an average of about $14.4 million for each of the six years, the report said.

"Considering the strain retiring baby boomers will soon be placing on Medicare's budget, shouldn't we be focusing this entitlement program on real, life-saving treatment and equipment to serve the health needs of seniors - instead of subsidizing penis pump purchases?" Ben Domenech of the Heartland Institute think tank said in an email statement.

"And to those seniors who really do want one," added Domenech, "just buy it yourself - you don't need to send the bill to your fellow Americans."

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Rubio: Obama's Cuba Policy Change Will Not Lead to Freedom

Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 12:38 PM

Sen. Marco Rubio says he has no problem with changing policy with Cuba, but says he wants to do something that will brin . . .

McCain: Obama Doesn't Understand Hacks Are Warfare

Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 11:44 AM

Sen. John McCain, the incoming Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said President Barack Obama doesn't unde . . .

Mike Rogers: Obama Said 'Aloha' Instead of Acting on Sony Hackers

Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 10:01 AM

House Intelligence Committee chairman said on Sunday the United States has the capability to make it very hard for North . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved