Congress may block coverage for VEDs for Medicare patients


It appears as though, here in the USA, the House of Representatives has decided to block coverage of vacuum erectile devices (VEDs, sometimes known as “penis pumps”) for Medicare patients. This could be a significant blow for many men receiving treatment for prostate cancer. The relevant bill will come up for discussion in the Senate soon. It was passed with bipartisan support in the House of Representatives.

The details about the relevant legislation are provided in a post on the ABC News web site entitled “Congress doesn’t want Medicare to pay for your erectile dysfunction“. And it is worth noting that of course Congress already doesn’t cover use of drugs like Viagra and others, but Medicare has covered the costs associated with use of VEDs.

This may be something that some of our readers want to speak to the Congressional representatives about. My bet is that large numbers of Congressmen and Congresswomen who voted to approve this piece of legislation weren’t aware that it included this particular provision, which may well have been “slid in” late in the legislative process. If Medicare has been paying too much for VEDs, that’s a problem that should be soluble, but why is Congress determined to eliminate an important benefit for some men with a real clinical problem?

7 Responses

  1. Of course Congress is saying “No.” Saying “no” is what they do best. Rest well assured, however, that if the Koch brothers owned a VED manufacturing company the answer would have been “Yes.”

  2. I couldn’t stop laughing after reading the sentence: “This could be a significant blow for many men . . . ” As a man with complete ED after RP and RT and one who must use a VED for intercourse, I wouldn’t mind if Congress took my VED away in exchange for a “significant blow”. Haven’t had one of those in more than 6 years. Thanks Sitemaster for brightening my day!

  3. I’m wondering how many disabled veterans covered by government programs could also use this sort of help.

  4. I have no problem with this.

    A man can purchase a perfectly functional vacuum device for about $30. Check out this link.

    Should we support the obscene markup of the device manufacturers?

  5. Hey Doc, have you checked out the rising prices of generic drugs?

  6. Dr. Hanline:

    Yes. See my comments on a different web site a couple of weeks ago.

  7. @Richard Stanton
    Thanks for making my early morning. Reading your comment blew my mind!

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