The U.S. Overspent Millions on Penis Pumps

Government spent $172 million on the erectile dysfunction tool over six years

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The U.S. government paid around $86 million too much for penis pumps, according to a government watchdog.

The federal Medicare program covered nearly 474,000 claims between 2006 and 2011 for the vacuum erection systems, a treatment option for erectile dysfunction, Reuters reports.

The bill: $172 million, according to the report from the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Service. Had the government paid the price regular customers pay for penis pumps, it could have saved $14.4 million a year — or a total of $86.4 million over six years.

Conservaties pilloried the report, saying the government shouldn’t be in the business of subsidizing erectile dysfunction tools. “To those seniors who really do want one,” Ben Domenici of think tank the Heartland Institute told Reuters, “just buy it yourself – you don’t need to send the bill to your fellow Americans.”

Penis pumps are just the latest example of wasteful spending in Congress, even as lawmakers grapple over a $1 trillion budget.

[Reuters]

27 comments
SmoothEdward1
SmoothEdward1

When you send penises to Washington to represent you they will be sympathetic.

mymom51
mymom51

This is not about penis pumps, it is about the deliberate overcharging of medicare. We should take bids on this or establish a basic price, then people would demand the best price on all their prescriptions. Medicare is overcharged for many if not most things.

JohnMacLellan
JohnMacLellan

As a new crippled I was offered one to purchase for$4-500 dollars and laughed as I told them I can build the same thing with a piece of pvc pipe and a hoover.

ReformedRep
ReformedRep

Now we know what Grandma and Grandpa are up to.

Gee paying for the pump seems fair since they do not need contraception or maternity coverage!!

DRS1
DRS1

First:  Vat der furk?  Second:  Wasn't this was a gag in the first Austin Powers?  I'm no expert, but so silly for male persons to think those would be effective.  

Yoshi
Yoshi

I need to invent some useless medical device the government will pay  a fortune for!

pegwal
pegwal

So can anyone explain to me why we are paying for penis enhancements but not paying for dentures so our elderly have a healthy mouth and can actually chew their food..."hello Mcfly is there anyone in there"...the US Government needs a major overhaul by the people & for the people.   This sure does make me angry!

pricedOut
pricedOut

At least they found out and now can fix this.  Medicare has been a subject of fraud, both by its users but at a much larger scale by medical device, drug companies and health care providers.  If there is no lobbyist influence, I am sure most Americans would agree that there should be a law to force all businesses to provide a lowest price guarantee to all levels of government.

curt3rd
curt3rd

Another perfect example why the government shouldnt be in control of our healthcare

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

So Viagra and Pumps we should cover. But mention allowing coverage for  Birth Control and the right has a nervous breakdown. Sounds logical.

sacredh
sacredh

Conservatives bone millions of working men and women every single day without the need for pumps. I can see their point.

AlanHall
AlanHall

@DRS1 What? That's not mine. That sort of thing just isn't my bag, baby.

BobJan
BobJan

@Yoshi how about a device that would pump some intelligence into the Congress. Make it so you put it in their ear canals, both sides and pump in some intelligence. The American people would pay you millions.

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

@pricedOut And also Congress critters who use the force of law to require that Medicare/Medicaid pay for certain medical devices.  The Utah congress critters are especially bad at this in that there are over 500 licensed medical device companies in that ultra-to-the-right state. Congress is also the party that makes the government pay first and check out the billings later.

La_Randy
La_Randy

@pricedOut Our representatives certainly understand the need for penis pumps. They are always looking out for their best interests.

Singletrack
Singletrack

@curt3rd This is not just about Medicare or healthcare....all divisions of government, not least the Department of Defense, are willing participants in the rape of government through collusion with their partners in industry.  The indignation of lawmakers over this is as egregious as their quick move to the boardrooms of those same industries the moment they have done their part in Congress.

TastesLikeEmu
TastesLikeEmu

No, I'm all for the traitor treatment for Obama and his court jester, I find Obamacare a disgrace because Viagra, Pumps and Maternity coverage is required, even for the post-menopausal who can't get pregnant and Hearing Aids, which are more important to quality of life, are not covered.

Who needs to hear anyway when all the blood is re routed to an EPIC chubby that won't go away without medical intervention.

reallife
reallife

@mantisdragon91 The only one that saying "we should cover" was YOU. 


The rest of us, think that your boyfriend should pay for his own penis pump, or maybe it's something that YOU're doing wrong.




Bullsgt
Bullsgt

@mantisdragon91  "Conservaties pilloried the report" Besides the type-O this statement means the conservatives or "right" attached the report and blamed the waste on liberals. Which is typical politics. Unfortunately!

Yoshi
Yoshi

@sacredhNot just conservatives, I'm afraid. They play on the same team and feed at the same trough.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@reallifeWe can always really on a winger to keep things classy. Thanks for showing yet again why people see GOP supporters as hateful neanderthals.

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

@Bullsgt @mantisdragon91 It is Republican congress critters sticking lines into must-pass bills that cause things like this to happen.  Especially look at Hatch and others from Utah who have a history of shoving pro-business amendments into any bill.  They are why the government must pay the bill promptly and then investigate claims later.  Most businesses would hold the bill and check it before paying it but that inconvenienced corporations so they changed the sequence so they could then complain about cheaters getting by without being caught.