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Congressional Research Service memo: Rapists may get federally subsidized Viagra

By Sahil Kapur
Wednesday, April 7, 2010 15:38 EDT
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Last week Republicans had to deal with an embarrassing issue that led to headlines about lesbian bondage and strip clubs. This week Democrats might be in store for headlines about rapists and child molesters.

The Congressional Research Service concluded in a memo that the new health care law may provide sex offenders access to government-subsidized Viagra, Roll Call reports.

CRS pointed out that the bill does “not appear to prohibit a qualified health plan in a health insurance exchange from providing coverage for drugs prescribed to treat ED for a non-incarcerated beneficiary who was previously convicted of rape, child molestation, or another sex offense.”

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) proposed an amendment to close such a loophole in the final days before passage. But Senate Democrats struck it down, fearing that any change to the bill would send it back to the lower chamber for another vote.

Now, Coburn is using the CRS revelation to attack the legislation.

“Providing child molesters with taxpayer-funded Viagra shows the folly of government-run health care,” Coburn’s spokesman John Hart told Roll Call in response to the memo. “Senators who allowed this to happen will be haunted by this vote for years to come.”

“Coburn drew ridicule last month for trying in vain to prohibit sex offenders from getting Viagra prescriptions under the new health care law,” noted Fox News. “But Coburn is now having the last laugh.”

The National Review chimed in with the headline: “Senator Coburn Was Right to Worry.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) dismissed the senator’s remark as a partisan ploy to undermine the legislation.

“If he has a problem, offer legislation and deal with the issue in a constructive fashion,” said Reid’s spokesman Jim Manley.

No Republicans in either chamber of Congress voted for the bill.

 
 
 
 
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