Per Ben Smith, Sharron Angle is now running an ad saying that Harry Reid “actually voted to use taxpayer dollars to pay for Viagra for convicted child molesters and sex offenders. What else could you ever need to know about Harry Reid?”
Presto, another example of members of Congress conducting politics under the guise of legislating. The source of that Viagra vote was an amendment to the health reform reconciliation bill introduced by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn that his office described like this:
No Erectile Dysfunction Drugs To Sex Offenders – This amendment would enact recommendations from the Government Accountability Office to stop fraudulent payments for prescription drugs prescribed by dead providers or, to dead patients. This amendment also prohibits coverage of Viagra and other ED medications to convicted child molesters, rapists, and sex offenders, and prohibits coverage of abortion drugs. (Note: the creation of exchanges could allow sex offenders to receive taxpayer-funded Viagra and other ED drugs unless Congress expressly prohibits this action – see additional background attached)
Voting for this amendment, which is obviously a no brainer, would have meant the reconciliation bill would have had to go back to the House for another vote, potentially stalling or killing comprehensive health reform legislation. Voting against it meant, you guessed it, fodder for TV ads like this one. Ad after the jump.