Congress Doesn’t Want Medicare to Pay for Your Erectile Dysfunction

This July 16, 2014, file photo shows the U.S. Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington. ( J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)
This July 16, 2014, file photo shows the U.S. Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington. ( J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)
This July 16, 2014, file photo shows the U.S. Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington. ( J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)

 

(ABC News) – When the House voted to approve the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act this week, lawmakers including Speaker John Boehner rejoiced that the move would be “a powerful step to help individuals with disabilities across the country” by enabling them to save for their futures through the creation of tax-free savings accounts.

But for some men suffering from erectile dysfunction, the ABLE Act may actually make their life experience worse.

Deep in the legislation, lawmakers inserted a provision to bring some consistency to how taxpayers provide relief to men suffering from erectile dysfunction. This provision “would prohibit Medicare coverage of vacuum erection systems,” universally known as penis pumps, “until such time that Medicare covers erectile dysfunction drugs under Medicare Part D.”

When the Medicare Part D program was created in 2003, it established a statutory prohibition on erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra and Cialis. But there was no such prohibition for penis pumps.

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